What is a Dental Implant?

An implant is an artificial root tooth implanted in the place of a natural tooth. Implants take the form of a screw inserted into the jaw bone. The implant consists of three parts: a titanium screw, a construction that protrudes above the gums, and a porcelain crown that is manufactured in the laboratory and placed over the structure.

Why are the implants of titanium, or of an alloy with titanium?
Titanium is the best material for the time being to allow the bone around the implant to attach.

Who needs implants?
People who have lost one or more teeth for different reasons or people with dentures are good candidates for implants. It is essential that you are otherwise healthy, but if you suffer from a particular disease or have a different health problem such as diabetes or osteoporosis, this does not always mean that an implant will not work for you. However, it occurs in a minority of cases that the body rejects the implant.  In these cases, we try again. It often happens that the new implant does catch on. If a patient comes to us with many failed implants, we will first propose an extensive treatment plan.

How long does it take before my teeth are ready for implants?
As short as possible! The procedure is as follows:
The patient comes to consult, and his / her wishes are discussed extensively along with a completed health declaration. Mainly the questions about cardiovascular disease and diabetes (diabetes) are essential. The Implantologist takes measurements of the patient’s teeth for the crowns, but also for the construction of the crowns.
The Implantologist makes the treatment plan. The practice manager gives you or sends you the budget, and you can go through this with her. If applicable, this will be recorded with your insurance company. If everything is in order, the patient will receive a prescription for taking an antibiotic before he comes to the treatment. The patient also signs a consent form that mentions all possible risks of implantation, as is standard for any other surgical procedure.
The treatment begins. First, the patient receives a local anesthetic. If the patient so wishes, surgery will start under sedation (a whirl) or narcosis. (For the latter two possibilities, a prior discussion is necessary, because we have to order an anesthetist.) A general anesthetic is not required for implantation, because you do not feel any pain during the treatment, and if you do feel something, we immediately stop and provide a new solution. But if you prefer a heavier anesthetic, then you can.
The teeth that are no longer functional are drawn. The implants are inserted, possibly after the gum has been cut open to expose the jaw bone. A ‘healing cap’ is placed on the implants when the gum is cut. If the gum is not reduced, sometimes the build can be set. The patient receives a temporary prosthesis on the healing cap or the body. If you already had a prosthesis, it can be used. The patient then goes home for at least one month for healing. In the meantime, your permanent prosthesis is manufactured in the laboratory. At a subsequent appointment, after healing of the wound around the implants and fouling of the bone, the fixed prosthesis is placed. The final adjustments are made.
The time between the placement of the implants and the placement of the fixed crowns /prosthesis differs per individual. The healing time in the upper jaw is usually longer. You may have to come back for different checks. This is to shorten the process for you and so that we can keep an eye on the implants.
The procedure can be carried out within one day. The patient can go home immediately after confirmation of the teeth. In all cases, you can quickly eat and drink, talk and smile. Implants make you feel like having your teeth and molars again.

How much jaw bone should I have to have an implant?
The height of the jawbone must be at least 1 cm. If this is less, an alternative solution must be sought, for example, All-on-4 or All-on-6, or bone has to be built up using a bone transplant.

Does implanting hurt?
Our patients tell us that they have not had any pain. Pain is, however, relative and differs from patient to patient. The Implantologist will do everything possible to make the patient as comfortable as possible during and after implantation. Of course, the procedure is done under anesthesia. There are different types of anesthesia, and it depends on the patients choice. The patient decides:

  • Local Anaesthesia – this is sufficient in most cases.
  • Sedation – the patient takes a sedative for the transplant. This brings the patient into a daze.
  • Intravenous Sedation – an anesthetist only administers it. We monitor the heart rate and oxygen level in the blood.
  • General anesthesia (anesthesia) – at the request of the patient. Anesthesia also takes place under the supervision of an anesthetist.

Artificial bones can be placed to improve the jaw bone. Is this correct?
Yes, that happens regularly. A natural bone of the patient can also be used. The bone transplant can sometimes be performed simultaneously with the operation, and in other cases before the transplant. In the latter case, the patient waits until the new bone integrates with the jaw, and only after the implants are inserted. The Implantologist will always discuss this with you.

What is a sinus increase?
A sinus increase is a procedure whereby artificial bone is placed in the upper jaw after the sinuses are lifted a little upwards. As a result, more space is released for the implant. The sinus increase can be performed with a cut in the gum, or without.

How can I maintain my implants?
This is very important, because the better you maintain your implants, the longer they last. After the implants are integrated into the jawbone, they become part of the patient’s teeth, just as if they were your teeth. You should brush your teeth at least twice a day, and floss once a day between the teeth. If maintenance fails, bleeding from the gums, gingivitis (gum disease), or an uncomfortable feeling can occur.

How long do implants last?
How long they last depend on the quality of the implants, the competence of the Implantologist, personal maintenance, and the health of your teeth. There are cases where implants last a lifetime.

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