Dental implants are artificial roots, mostly in the form of screws, obtained from highly biocompatible materials such as titanium or zirconium placed in the jawbone to replace the lost tooth or teeth in case of tooth deficiencies. These artificial roots, which are placed on the jawbone by operation, unite to the bone within 2-4 months and become ready for dental production. While a single crown can be attached on the implant for a single tooth deficiency, multiple crowns can be attached to the implant in the form of bridges or partial dentures on partial edentulous areas. Implants are now an indispensable application of dentistry. Implants, which are well known in the society, are known as screw teeth, fastening teeth or artificial root.
Nowadays, patients who lost their teeth due to various reasons, can replace the lost tooth by specialists immediately. Patients with previously lost tooth or teeth, and even patients with no teeth remaining in the mouth, can regain their aesthetic and chewing skills by having implants.
Individuals of all ages who have reached the age of adolescents with dental deficiencies who need dental implants for various reasons can have implants if they do not have a medical condition that would interfere with implant operation.
For multiple tooth deficiencies, it is not necessary to replace each missing tooth with an implant. Prosthesis can be made as bridges on the implants to be made according to the amount of tooth deficiency. Even for complete toothless people (patients who have total edentulism), sometimes 4 implants can replace all teeth in one jaw.
Implant surgery can take from 15 minutes to several hours depending on the difficulty of the surgical procedure.
Implant surgery is a painless procedure for patients. In some complicated situations, it may be difficult for the specialists to perform the operation. While an experienced and well-equipped team can easily overcome these difficulties with their knowledge and skills, there may occur some problems for patients who have this operation by dentists who do not have enough knowledge, experience or proper equipments.
Since the implant surgery is performed under local anesthesia, the patient has no pain during the operation. After the operation, a mild pain that may occur is prevented with painkillers immediately after the surgery. For patients who are relaxed and calm, the operation process is much more comfortable, whereas the fear and uneasiness give the patient more trouble than the implant operation. The patients who have implants confess that they have experienced an easier process than they expected.
Every dentist with dental diploma in our country has the authority to do implants. In the faculties of dentistry, dentists are taught what an implant is, not to do implant surgery. After basic dentistry training, dentists who have a special training in related departments can do implants.
Since the implant is applied to replace missing teeth, to regain aesthetic and chewing efficacy, it concerns the field of prosthodontics, but the implant is a surgical procedure and most ideally it can be performed by a prosthodontist and an oral surgeon working together. After the examination, the prosthodontist determines the areas that will require implant according to the requirements of the prosthesis to be put on them and conveys their expectations to the oral surgeon. Two specialists evaluate the case on an x-ray and plan treatment together. Especially in multiple implant surgeries, it is ideal to enter the surgery together. Thus, the maxillofacial surgeon who will place the implant and the prosthodontist who will make the prosthesis can work as a team to reach the perfect result.
It usually takes 3 months in the upper jaw and 2 months in the lower jaw for the implant to be healed. This is because the bone structure of both jaws is different. In addition, this period may be extended in the presence of some additional surgical interventions such as bone graft placements. When the healing is completed, the fabrication and application of the prosthesis are completed within a few days to 1-2 weeks depending on the type of prosthesis.
The first week after implant surgery is the most important period. Prescribed medications, especially antibiotics, should be taken on a regular basis. The first few hours after the surgery, patient should not eat or drink anything. For the next two days, the patient should especially avoid heat. Ice compression is necessary to keep possible swelling to a minimum. During this time, hot dishes such as soup, hot drinks such as tea or coffee will not be favorable. On the first night, lying your head on the high pillow will also reduce swelling. Since stitches will not be removed before 7-10 days, hard foods that will damage the area should be avoided during this time and brushing your teeth hard is inadvisable.
Patients who have implants expect these artificial roots to remain in the mouth for life, although this is partly true, but it is important to know that the life-time of a dental implant will actually be as much as a healthy tooth. In other words, we may have a gum disease around the implant like we lose our teeth as a result of tooth decay or gum disease. Just as we can keep our teeth healthy by making daily oral care to protect our teeth, we should also take care of the dental implant and take good care of our implant under the control of your speacialists. When these considerations are taken into, well-performed implants can function for life.
There may be situations that may prevent the individual who wishes to have an implant to undergo an operation by the reason of general health condition. This usually occurs in uncontrolled conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, extremely high blood pressure diseases. In such cases, the dentist is communication with the patient’s medical specialist for the patient’s health condition and in some cases the patient may not be allowed to have an implant. These conditions are not actually related to the implant, but the obstacles to the patient to undergo any operation.
Otherwise, in some cases, the amount of bone in the desired area for implant may not be sufficient for implantation. In such cases, some additional surgical procedures can be performed by increasing the amount of bone in the region, but in these cases the treatment time will be prolonged.
In bridge-type prostheses which are used to complete missing teeth, prosthesis can be prepared by reshaping the teeth which are in front of and behind the cavity, while implant treatment is independent of neighboring teeth and does not require any intervention for these neighboring teeth. They are very reliable and comfortable to use. Even for the patients who have no tooth (total edentulism), their prosthesis can be turned into a more useful and comfortable prosthesis by supporting them with these implants.
Implants can be applied at any age except individuals who have not yet reached puberty.
In some cases, especially in cases of single implants, the gingiva is removed cylindrically, reaching the bone just as much as the diameter of the implant, and the implant is placed so that no suture is required.
Today, patients who lost their teeth due to various reasons, can replace the lost tooth immediately by a dentist. Patients who previously lost teeth or teeth, even patients with no teeth remaining in the mouth, can regain their esthetic and chewing skills by having implants.
Since implant surgery requires working on the bone, swelling and bruises may occur during the healing process. Although this varies from person to person, it is part of the recovery. However, swelling and bruising can be minimized by some precautions. Particularly with ice compression on surgery area and, in some cases, with certain medicines, swelling can be kept to a minimum.
Today, hundreds of brands and models of implants are available. The types of materials used in the implants are substantially similar and are the same in principle. However, it will be useful to choose brands that have high recognition and proven success. What is important here is that the model of the implant should be accurately selected by the dentist according to the patient’s condition.
Dental implants are made of materials with the highest biocompatibility, such as titanium or zirconium. They show excellent compatibility with the bone structure, but as a result of some complications, some implants may fail by not uniting to the bone. As a result, the success rate in implant surgery is over 98%.
Smoking can reduce the success of implants. Especially, it is found that the probability of failure is much 2-3 times more in smokers than non-smokers.
One of the most curious subjects is the dental implants beeping in the metal detector. Implants do not beep in metal detector, and people can easily go through monitoring tests with metal-sensitive devices such as MRI.
Only for removable prostheses, sometimes 2 or 4 implants can be placed and the prosthesis can be adapted to the implants with some adjustments that the patient is comfortable and satisfied with.
When a tooth is lost, the bone in the area will slowly resorb over time. Since the region will become active again with implant placement, resorption is prevented to a great extent. Teeth adjacent to a missing tooth may tend to lean towards the gap, while the teeth opposite the gap may extend into the cavity. Therefore, the sooner the implant can be replaced, the better it will be.
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