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Implantology

1) Dental Implants

Dental implants are a treatment solution for patients who have lost a tooth or teeth due to tooth decay, gum disease or oral injury. Tooth loss not only affects how we eat and speak, but it can also affect self-image and general confidence. Dental implant treatment is aimed at providing secure replacement teeth to ensure proper bite function, facial form and a confident smile by placing ceramic crowns/bridges or dentures on dental implants.

2) What is "Dental implant"?

Dental implants consist of titanium posts, abutments and a prosthetic, which serve as both replacement tooth roots and teeth. Implants are securely fitted within the jawbone structure, naturally fusing with existing bone structure through a process of osseointegration. The titanium tooth roots act as a permanent fixture for dental crowns, dentures and bridges.

3) Why and when do we need dental implants?

Implants can be used to replace a single missing tooth, multiple missing teeth, or to support a denture or bridge.

If you have loose or ill-fitting dentures, your ability to eat and speak may become affected. Due to advances in dentistry, there is now a procedure whereby your denture can be fixed to your jaw with dental implants. This treatment, known as implant overdentures or denture stabilisation, offers patients with dentures a more permanent solution and can improve quality of life significantly. You will be able to enjoy your favourite foods again and feel comfortable smiling, safe in the knowledge that your dentures are staying put.

4) What is involved in the Dental Implant procedure?

Patients are first assessed on their suitability for dental implants. Oral dimensions and conditions are tested using diagnostic tools, such as CT Scans, 3D X-ray imaging, radiographs. These enable dental implant dentists to obtain patient-specific measurements of the jawbone and oral facial tissue, thus promoting the accurate placement of dental implants. The structure of a patient's jaw is assessed, as is the proximity of the sinus region, to determine if other treatments are necessary prior to the implant procedure. The bone density and resorption ability are also evaluated. If it is established that dental implants are an appropriate treatment, the site is prepared and cleaned. The dental implant and jawbone need time to fuse together before a final tooth replacement is fitted. Osseointegration is vital for the success of dental implant treatment, with the time of healing and bone fusion ranging from 12 weeks to 6 months.Depending on the stages involved in surgery, such as whether a bone graft or sinus lift is necessary, treatment and healing times may vary.

5) What Are the Advantages of Dental Implants?

There are many advantages to dental implants, including:

Improved appearance:Dental implants look and feel like your own teeth. And because they are designed to fuse with bone, they become permanent.

Improved speech:With poor-fitting dentures, the teeth can slip within the mouth causing you to mumble or slur your words. Dental implants allow you to speak without the worry that teeth might slip.

Improved comfort:Because they become part of you, implants eliminate the discomfort of removable dentures.

Easier eating:Sliding dentures can make chewing difficult. Dental implants function like your own teeth, allowing you to eat your favorite foods with confidence and without pain.

Improved self-esteem:Dental implants can give you back your smile and help you feel better about yourself.

Improvedoral health:Dental implants don’t require reducing other teeth, as a tooth-supported bridge does. Because nearby teeth are not altered to support the implant, more of your own teeth are left intact, improving long-term oral health. Individual implants also allow easier access between teeth, improving oral hygiene.Implants are very durable and will last many years. With good care, many implants last a lifetime.

6) What if I don’t have enough bone for dental implants?

There are various procedures that can be carried out to enable treatment with dental implants.

-Augmentation

The best source of bone for your graft is your own bone tissue from elsewhere in your body. Bone can be grafted from the chin, the back of the lower jaw, the hip and the tibia. Bone taken from your own body is the most viable and has faster healing times when compared to alternatives. In many cases, a combination of artificial bone substitutes and your natural bone is used. In any bone grafting procedure, the grafted bone provides an anchor and stimulus for the existing bone to grow onto, eventually providing an environment suitable for the placement of implants.Augmentation extends the time of implant treatments from 3 months to at least 6 months.

-All on 4

All-on-4 is a revolutionary and highly advanced new method that allows a full mouth of new teeth to rest with complete, proven stability on only four implants. These implants form a sturdy base for a full arch of dentures to be secured on top of.The dentures will then be permanent. They look and function just like natural teeth. The all on 4 implant technique is a method to replace a full arch of missing teeth with only 4 dental implants supporting a fixed denture / bridge.Normally dental implants are placed into your jaw at a 90 degree angle to your jaw. With the all on 4 technique the 2 implants at the front are fitted as usual at 90 degrees and the 2 implants at the back of the jaw are placed at 45 degrees to your jaw. When a bridge is then attached to the 4 implants this angled placement of implants locks all 4 implants together and enables them to heal and integrate with minimal chance of failure or becoming dislodged. Also since the 2 rear implants are placed at 45 degrees this allows longer implants to be used in this area and is especially important for patients who may otherwise require bone-grafting due to minimal bone tissue in that area. In many cases all on 4 provides a solution for patients who could not previously have implants due to lack of bone.

-Zygomatic Implants

Zygomatic implants are an alternative to more traditional implants which involve drilling directly into the jawbone. Instead of doing this, the Zygomatic implants are much longer then these traditional implants. They are anchored in the upper jawbone, which is close to the dense zygoma bone. This difference in location means that Zygomatic implants can provide a secure foundation for your dental implants while traditional dental implants may not be possible. Where as people with deteriorated jaws may not be able to receive this surgery, advancements with Zygomatic implants means it can still be possible.Zygomatic implants are an evidence-based surgical and prosthetic solution for both two-stage and immediate loading protocols.Today, zygomatic implants are usually placed using an immediate loading protocol.The main indication for zygomatic implants is the severely resorbed edentulous maxilla, but they can also be used in partially edentulous situations.Indications for zygomatic implant insertion include: alternative for sinus augmentation, failed sinus augmentation, rehabilitation after tumor resection or trauma, failure of conventional implants, failure of previous bone grafts.

-Implants with Laser Surgery

Laser treatment has many clinical advantages when compared to scalpels and blades—including giving more precise control to the clinician and more comfort to the patient. Lasers are a safe and gentle alternative to traditional dental tools. They allow oral surgeons and dentists to accomplish more complex tasks, reduce blood loss, decrease post-operative discomfort, reduce the chance of wound infection, and achieve better wound healing so patients are back to smiling, faster.Using lasers for dental implants decreases the the time for healing and loading and recommended especially for anterior (front) part.

-Dental Implants with Iliac (hip) bone graft

Iliac bone is commonly used as an autogeneous graft for dental implants.The procedure is managed by a dental surgeon and a plastic or orthopedic surgeon with great care under general anesthesia.The block bone graft taken from iliac bone is used to place the dental implants on jaws with severe bone loss.Dental implants can be placed after 6 months of placing iliac bone graft.

-Alveolar Ridge Split Technique

If the alveolar ridge is too thin to place an implant,the ridge is expanded horizontally to gain space in this technique.

-Sinus Lifting

A sinus lift is surgery that adds bone to your upper jaw in the area of your molars and premolars. It's sometimes called a sinus augmentation. The bone is added between your jaw and the maxillary sinuses, which are on either side of your nose. To make room for the bone, the sinus membrane has to be moved upward, or "lifted." A sinus lift is done by a specialist.