Despite improved dental care, millions of people suffer from tooth loss - mainly due to tooth decay, periodontitis or injuries to the gums. For many years, the only treatment options for people with missing teeth were bridges and dentures. Dental implants are available today.
What are dental implants?
Dental implants are replacement tooth roots. Implants form a solid basis for fixed (permanent) or removable replacement teeth that are matched to your natural teeth.
Who can get dental implants?
In most cases, anyone who is healthy enough to undergo routine tooth extraction or oral surgery can be considered for a dental implant. Patients should have healthy gums and enough bones to hold the implant. You also need to ensure good oral hygiene and regular visits to the best dentistry clinics. Heavy smokers, people who suffer from uncontrolled chronic diseases - such as diabetes or heart diseases - or patients who have received radiation to the head and neck area must be assessed individually. If you are thinking about implants, talk to your dentist to see if they are right for you.
Benefits of implants
Implant-supported dentures have several advantages over conventional forms of restoration such as bridges and conventional partial and full dentures:
- Aesthetics and unobtrusiveness: Implant-supported dentures are highly aesthetic and can hardly be recognized as dentures. The artificial tooth crown, usually made of ceramic, is individually adapted in color and shape to the surrounding teeth. The rest of the implant is invisible under the gums.
- Chewable strength and high wearing comfort: Due to their firm anchoring, implants usually sit very securely in the jawbone. With implants, you can usually chew and bite hard like natural teeth.
- Normal chewing sensation: The chewing sensation looks very natural with implant-supported dentures - almost as if it were your teeth.
- Protection of healthy teeth: In contrast to conventional bridges, no neighboring teeth need to be ground to fix implants. Their natural tooth structure is completely preserved.
- Firm hold: implants heal firmly in the jawbone. Therefore, they offer a more stable hold than other types of dentures.
- Protection of the jawbone: In contrast to bridges and conventional prostheses, implants burden the jawbone like natural tooth roots and thereby stimulate jawbone growth. This prevents bone loss and the associated consequences that otherwise occur after tooth loss.
- Lifespan: With careful care and regular checks, efficient dental implants can last a lifetime.
- Better bite with full dentures / avoiding removable dentures: Those who cannot eat everything and bite firmly or who are unsure when speaking and laughing feel restricted. Implant-supported prostheses offer more security than conventional ones. That also means a gain in quality of life.
- Possible disadvantages: The implant treatment may be more complex than the alternative: it is associated with a surgical procedure and the healing phase after the implantation takes time.
Types of dental implants
So far, we have mainly treated two-part implants, which are used as standard today because they are more adaptable and versatile. They consist of the implant body and the superstructure, i.e. either a crown, bridge or prosthesis.
In contrast, there is also the one-piece implant, which is hardly used today, however, because its structure and applicability are inferior to those of the two-piece implant.
In the case of a one-piece implant, the implant body and superstructure consist of a finished component, the shape, and orientation of which cannot be changed. However, these two are not the only types of implants.
Standard dental implants
Standard implants are usually about 8 to 14 millimeters long and are the most commonly used.
Short dental implants
Short dental implants are between 6 and 8 millimeters long and are used when the jawbone is significantly degraded and the available tissue is, therefore, less than usual.
Orthodontic implants / TAD
This type of tooth implant is particularly used in orthodontics, where it is used to correct misaligned teeth.
Disk implants / BOI implants
This type of tooth implant is extremely rare in Germany and is usually only used when the jawbone has receded to such an extent that it could no longer offer enough support for an ordinary screw implant. The structure differs significantly from other implant systems because a circular platform is inserted into the jawbone.
Titan has been one of the most reliable and safe materials for the manufacture of dental implants for over 40 years. This popularity is due to the fact that titanium has an extremely high tolerance, since only approx. 1 to 5% of all patients shows titanium tolerance.
An allergic reaction can only occur to tin or nickel impurities since an allergy to titanium itself is not yet known. However, this is the absolute exception, since materials in dentistry are subject to strict controls.
Scientific studies have repeatedly shown that the human body reacts very positively to titanium and that it usually heals excellently in the jawbone. Titanium is also considered an extremely durable material.
Ceramic implants are an alternative for patients with allergic reactions and intolerance to metals or for those who are concerned about metal contamination of their bodies and who want a metal-free supply.