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Implant dentistry: questions and answers

Implant dentistry is a way of restoring a missing tooth or a few ones. An alternative to implants can be the use of dental bridges, removable partial dentures or full dentures. But it is the implant-supported artificial tooth that looks most similar to a natural tooth.

Implant dentistry brings about a number of questions. Let us try to answer them.

  1. What in an implant?

It is a small screw, usually made of titanium alloy. It is planted into the bone tissue and is attached to the dental prosthesis.

  1. What is dental implantation and how is it carried out?

The first, and an extremely important, stage is therapy planning. At this stage the general state of health and the condition of the mouth cavity is evaluated (the condition of the mucous tunic of the mouth, of the salivary glands, of the temporomandibular joint, of the masticatory muscles and, of course, of the teeth). An X-ray (usually conical beam tomography) will be necessary, and probably a diagnostic model, too. Modern implant dentistry allows to produce a special surgical template, which helps to fix an implant exactly according to the initial plan. The doctor will most likely consult you on oral hygiene and will describe the treatment and rehabilitation period.

Implant insertion itself starts with anaesthesia followed by making a small cut and forming an access hole for the implant. If necessary, a temporary prosthesis is made.

  1. When are implants used?
  • To restore single denture defects.

Most often such defects occur in posterior areas. But restoring front teeth with the help of an implant can also be effective; besides, dental implant placement in this case is one of the fastest ways of solving the problem.

  • If a few teeth are missing.

Sometimes this is the only way to avoid removable dentures.

  • In case of complete absence of teeth on one or both jaws.

Implants can serve as a prosthetic abutment for a removable denture, making its attachment more effective and making it more comfortable in use. They can also serve as an abutment for a permanent denture.

Implants can be used as an auxiliary element of orthodontic treatment.

  1. What patients is implant dentistry suitable for?

Implant placement is suitable for adult patients, whose jaws have stopped growing (normally patients over 20-22 years old). The high-risk group (cases where implant dentistry might fail) includes patients with metabolic disorders (e.g. with decompensated diabetes mellitus), patients who take cytostatic drugs or biophosphonate medications. Implant dentistry is also contraindicated during a course of radiotherapy of the head and/or neck as well as within six months after myocardial infarction or after a cerebrovascular accident. Smoking definitely reduces the chance of success of implant dentistry.

  1. How much does dental implantation cost?

The price of the treatment depends on a few factors:

  • the brand of the implant manufacturer;
  • the material of the crown;
  • the crown manufacturing method;
  • the complexity of the treatment, the necessity of adjunctive treatment (bone volume restoration and/or soft oral tissue volume restoration) and of temporary prostheses.
  • An abutment serves as an intermediary element, linking the implant and the crown. The material of the abutment (zirconium dioxide or titanium), as well as the material of the crown, affects the price of the treatment. As a rule, zirconium dioxide structures are more expensive than the price of the more popular titanium abutment structures. Crowns made of ceramic paste sintered in advance are aesthetically inferior to the crowns which undergo hand painting and enamelling, which tells upon the price as well.

As a rule, the treatment by the doctors specializing in implant dentistry is 10-30% more expensive than the treatment by the general dentists.

  1. Where to find the right dentist.

Implant dentistry requires experience and special qualifications, not only university knowledge, so it would be reasonable to find out about the doctor’s theoretical grounding and his or her experience precisely in the field of implant dentistry. You should definitely consult your acquaintances or friends who have already had such treatment. It would make sense to consult two to three dentists to choose the one who suits you best. The price of the consultation is normally included in the general price of the treatment.

  1. What problems connected with dental implantation can possibly arise?

The most common risk connected with dental implantation is osteointegration (implant survival) failure. The general probability of this condition is about 1%. According to my statistics, the expectancy of such cases is 1-2%. But it does not yet mean that the treatment has failed and that the implantation is impossible. As a rule, the implant installation can be repeated in three to four months (in our clinic you can have it free of charge). In my experience, there haven been no cases of reinstalled implants failing to survive. At times, during the dental implantation treatment gingival inflammation (gum inflammation) can develop. The most effective and the cheapest way of curing this condition is good oral hygiene, both at home and at the dentist’s. As well as with any other ways of denture treatment, a dental prosthesis can get broken or damaged, which will be repaired according to warranty obligations (within the warranty period).

  1. What materials are used in implant dentistry and what is osteointegration?

Due to the isteointegration phenomenon, every year millions of people can have their smile and articulation restored and can regain the joy of variegated diet with the help of implants. In the process of osteointegration bone tissue cells – osteoplasts – become attached directly to the implant surface. Such an attachment ensures a highly reliable implant insertion in the bone tissue. But achieving this attachment takes time, therefore a permanent structure on the implant is made only three to six months after the implant insertion.

As a rule, implants are made of titanium alloys. But to make a prosthetic structure as natural and durable as possible it is important to choose the material of the abutment (the element linking the implant and the crown). Zirconium dioxide is recognized as the best material for the abutment, which is fixed inside the implant and goes through the gum, as this material guarantees healthy gums and their high aesthetic qualities.

  1. Khitrin (adapted from: https://en.webdento.com)

Nanotechnologies in implant dentistry

30 years ago two outstanding scientists – an engineer Keith Beaty and a periodontist Richard Lazzara – cofounded the company ‘Implant Innovation Inc’.

The company manufactured dental prostheses for the implants, which were soon recognized as the most aesthetically beautiful in the world. They subsequently started manufacturing implants as well. That is how the world-famous brand BIOMET 3i first appeared.

BIOMET 3i was the first to use nanotechnological achievements in implant manufacturing.

In implant dentistry the company specialists use a special patented implant surface shape, OSSEOTITE, covered with calcium phosphate crystals. Such a surface coating (OSSEOTITE + calcium phosphate) has got the name of NanoTite.

Why is it good for the patient?

Firstly, it considerably reduces the length of treatment.

Due to their bioactivity, calcium phosphate crystals, coating the implant, are beneficial to the surrounding bone tissue and, consequently, accelerate the osteointegration (bone healing) process.

Secondly, it allows simultaneous implant placemant and bone augmentation procedure.

Such a necessity may arise if the amount of the patient’s bone tissue is insufficient or if its quality is not suitable for implant insertion.

Thirdly, due to its special shape and grooves, such an implant is easy to insert and fix, and its stability and precise position are easy to control.

Fourthly, there is an opportunity to position the implant at different angles, which enables to achieve a highly aesthetic result. And the high level of aesthetic qualities is one of the main advantages of the company.

All this allows not only to give a better predicted result of the treatment, but also to give the patient the feeling of a ‘natural tooth’. In implant dentistry, as well as everywhere, there are compromise solutions, and there are optimal solutions. The BIOMET 3i product line has been elaborated so that we could find an optimal variant of your treatment at a single consultation.

Khitrin, Maxim Iosifovich
Dental surgeon, implant surgeon