What are implants and how is implantation different from other methods of tooth restoration?
In simple terms, an implant is an alternative to tooth root. As a rule, these are titanium products: the material is well studied and has been used in various areas of surgery for over 100 years.
Each implant model has its own system for attaching a tooth to a titanium root. Fastening is carried out by screws, adapters (abutments or titanium bases) and cement.
Unlike simple removable and bridge prostheses, implants do not affect neighboring teeth and allow you to correctly transfer the load to the bone tissue.
Loss of bone tissue (which inevitably occurs when wearing removable dentures) leads not only to aesthetic consequences – a decrease in the height of the face, wrinkles in the corners of the mouth, and so on – but also to digestion problems due to weakened muscles and reduced chewing effectiveness. Implants can be positioned based on the individual characteristics of your dentition, without disturbing the function of chewing and speech.
In addition, implant-based teeth are generally more durable and reliable. However, there are always exceptions, and in some situations, removable or bridge prostheses will be preferable. What exactly suits you, the specialist will determine.
Are there any contraindications and limitations for implant placement?
As with any surgery, there are also some contraindications. Usually they intersect with contraindications for outpatient tooth extraction. That is, if you can’t remove your teeth, then implants cannot be installed. So, this method is impossible or undesirable:
- with intolerance to anesthetics;
- with serious cardiovascular diseases;
- with diabetes in a progressive form;
- after radiation therapy in the head;
- in the presence of infections in the oral cavity;
- in connection with the use of certain drugs;
- during a cold or severe stress.
As for age, implantation is not recommended for young patients, as they have not yet fully formed the bones of the facial skull, in particular the jaw. For each, this process proceeds differently, but on average it ends by 16–18 years. For the elderly, there are no age restrictions as such; everything depends only on the state of health.
How much does implant placement cost?
How much does a vacation cost? It depends on where you relax: in your country house or in Bora Bora. So it is with implantation. The final cost depends on many factors and primarily on related procedures that are assigned based on the state of the oral cavity of a particular patient.
For example, you may need a treatment for tooth decay on adjacent teeth or an operation to build bone tissue, since its own is not enough for the functioning of the implant. Therefore, in your case, the doctor can voice the cost of implantation only after a personal consultation and drawing up an individual treatment plan. And only then can you analyze the offers of various dental clinics and make an informed decision.
Just comparing options for the price of the implant, you are very likely to learn the meaning of the proverb “Overseas a heifer is half, but the ruble is transported.”
What questions to ask the doctor at the first consultation?
At the first visit to the implant surgeon, it is important to clearly clarify for yourself all the moments of the upcoming treatment. Of course, a good specialist will explain everything himself, but you can also ask the right direction with your questions.
What would you recommend me to cure?
You should not go to the doctor and demand from the threshold that he correct you this particular tooth. To prevent disappointments in the future, it is important to draw up a complete treatment plan for the entire oral cavity, and not just eliminate the defects visible with a smile.
What other specialists should I contact?
It is possible that a group of doctors will deal with your situation. And this is a common practice. For example, with a malocclusion, you should first consult an orthodontist. Violating the stages of treatment, you yourself will create problems for yourself in the future: it will be much more difficult and more expensive to fix the same bite with already installed implants.
What will be included in my treatment plan?
What procedures, what costs will be required, how much each stage will take in time, whether there will be any inconvenience and limitations afterwards – it is important to clarify every detail. And of course, find out all the risks: will you be guaranteed a result or is this some kind of experimental treatment ?
You should find out the opinion of the doctor, but to convince him is useless. If in doubt, go to a consultation with another specialist, and preferably two.
How long after tooth extraction can an implant be installed?
You can pull out a tooth and put an implant in this place in one visit. True, provided that no infectious processes occur in the operated area, and indeed in the oral cavity (there is no periodontitis, periodontitis, abscess, and so on). Otherwise, it is necessary to eliminate them and wait 2-3 months, otherwise the likelihood of complications is high.
What examinations should be done before implantation?
If you can remove the tooth, then you can install the implant. This is not some special procedure that requires a large list of tests. Therefore, as a rule, only a CT scan is required. The exception is if you have not been tested for a long time, and you have “everything hurts.” Then go to the therapist first and resolve your general health issues.
Of course, the implantologist needs to be informed about all your diseases and medications. Before the first consultation, do not be too lazy to make a complete list of medicines and injections that were prescribed for you over the past six months.
In case of serious diseases (problems with the cardiovascular system, diabetes mellitus, oncology), consultation and the conclusion of a specialized specialist is mandatory. Without this, things will not go further than a conversation with an implantologist.
How does the implantation procedure go?
First, the doctor will give you anesthesia . In most cases, not the entire jaw is frozen, but only a small amount of tissue. This is enough so that during the operation you do not have any pain. The maximum that can be from the unpleasant is pulling the cheeks and vibration. If you still feel pain, tell your doctor right away.
As soon as the anesthesia works, the specialist makes an incision and exposes the bone, then prepares the seat using a series of special drills and installs the implant. After that, a stub is placed (a screw that protects the internal structure of the artificial root) and seams are applied.
It may take about 10-15 minutes to install one implant. However, this does not mean that you will spend only a quarter of an hour in the clinic: it takes time to prepare the patient for surgery and the effect of anesthesia. After the operation, you should have control shots and a cold compress. Given all these organizational issues, in the clinic you are likely to stay at least one and a half hours.
Is it possible to install several implants at once?
Not only possible, but necessary. Fortunately, there are no restrictions on the number of implants installed per visit, even if the missing teeth are located on different sides of the jaw. In this case, you will have to postpone only one rehabilitation period, take one course of drugs. You will quickly return to normal, and most importantly – the duration of your treatment will be reduced.
Installing one implant per week is wrong, since each operation is stress for the body. In addition, you will have to take special medications for a long time to avoid complications (antibiotics, painkillers), which also may not have a very beneficial effect on health.
What are the limitations after surgery and how long does the recovery process take?
The limitations are exactly the same as after tooth extraction:
- Refrain from additional stress: heavy physical exertion, psychological stress, responsible intellectual work.
- The first three days to avoid hot, cold and solid foods.
- The first few days, try not to injure the operated area: do not chew food on this side, do not brush this place with a toothbrush, and so on.
Also, so that there are no infectious complications, you will need to take anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial drugs, which the doctor will prescribe. However, despite similar limitations, after implantation you will feel better than after tooth extraction.
What can be the complications?
After implantation, a number of complications can occur. Some of the symptoms are quite natural and should not scare you:
- spontaneous pain in the first day after implantation;
- pain when pressing on the operated area in the first 72 hours;
- temperature increase in the first day (up to 38 ° C).
- increasing edema in the first three days (as a rule, on the third day it is maximal, but decreases by the fifth or sixth day).
To sound the alarm and immediately run to the doctor is if:
- high temperature lasts more than 24 hours;
- after three days, painful sensations (spontaneous or when exposed to the operated area) disturb;
- edema does not subside or increases within a week.
How to care for implants?
Regular implant care is just as important as having your own teeth. Careful daily hygiene of the entire oral cavity and regular visits to the dentist (at least twice a year) are required.
At the same time, personal hygiene has its own characteristics. In addition to the usual and necessary tools (toothpaste, floss, rinse aid), it is worth starting to use an electric brush and an irrigator (a device that removes food debris from hard-to-reach places due to water ripple).
Also, do not forget about professional cleaning every six months. At the same time, remember that implants require special tools and supplies, and be sure to notify the specialist about the presence of artificial teeth before the procedure.
How long will the implants last?
In the event of successful engraftment and proper care, the implants will last you several decades. Some optimists even promise a lifetime warranty, but this is a moot point: there is no real evidence that the implants lasted 50 or 70 years. And it’s hard to imagine an actively practicing surgeon with more than 50 years of experience – what then is such a guarantee based on?
In addition, your jaw system will still continue to wear out, bone tissue will collapse, and the implants themselves will be exposed. Of course, all this does not happen quickly, so it is important to monitor the condition of the oral cavity and at least once a year to come to the implantologist for a follow-up examination.