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Dental implants: All you need to know

Thinking of getting dental implants? Esteurope, a Turkey-based Hospital Center with its own state-of-the-art dental clinic in Izmir, tells you all you need to know to make an informed decision.

What is a dental implant?

A dental implant is an artificial tooth root that is placed in the jaw bone. Made of biocompatible titanium or zirconium, the implant fuses with the jawbone, providing complete retention. Dental implants can be capped with a ceramic dental crown to replace single lost teeth or used to support a fixed prosthesis in cases where the patient has no teeth.

Dental implantation is an extremely reliable treatment used worldwide. The placement of the implant itself takes just six minutes.

What are the advantages of dental implants?

Dental implants offer a permanent, natural-looking solution for missing teeth. Chewing is more comfortable than with conventional dental plate and prostheses, and speech is improved. The cheek and facial structure is restored to its natural state and personal confidence is boosted thanks to a natural, healthy and aesthetically-pleasing appearance.

In addition, dental implants actually protect the bone in the region of the replaced tooth, since bone resorption occurs in areas where teeth are missing from the jaw. When an implant is placed, this resorption decreases, before stopping completely.

The main advantage for patients who have a fixed prosthesis attached to implants is that the fixed teeth have almost the same characteristics as the teeth that they have lost. In many cases, such treatment can often give better results in terms of functionality and aesthetics than the teeth that were lost. Patients are able to care for them in the same way as their own teeth and, when implanted under appropriate conditions, the dental implants should last for many years.

Am I a suitable candidate for implant treatment?

Good gum health is essential for successful dental implant treatment. Therefore, if you experience gingival problems, you should consult a periodontologist before applying for dental implants. Gingival problems can also cause inflammation in the implant area, resulting in the loss of implant. Additional treatments, such as bone grafting or sinus lifting, may be required for implantation in patients with bone loss.

What are the steps for the dental implant procedure?

Step one

A careful assessment is made of the jawbone and missing teeth using X-rays. This stage allows your dentist to determine your suitability for implants and which type of implant would be most beneficial for your specific condition. Dental moulds (models) will be made to determine the ideal position and type of implant.

Step two

A minor operation is performed to place the implant into the jawbone. The gum is then stitched around the implant. At this stage, the implant is level with the surface of the gum and cannot be seen. This surgery may be done under either a local or general anaesthetic.

A healing period of between 3-8 weeks is generally required prior to proceeding to the third step. You may experience some initial swelling or discolouration of the gums. Your dentist may provide you with medications or instructions for your gum care.

Step three

A titanium abutment (extension post) is screwed into each implant. This process can normally be done on an outpatient basis as oral surgery is not required. At this stage, additional impressions may be taken for the final replacement teeth, and a temporary tooth or bridge may be fitted. Your dentist may also have special cleaning or other instructions for you to follow for proper maintenance of your abutments.

Step four

The completed teeth are connected to the implants providing a secure, stable and natural-looking replacement for the teeth that have been lost. You begin to care for your implants as if they were your natural teeth. Your dentist will probably schedule follow-up appointments to ensure that your implants are fitting properly. If you experience any pain or your bite is loose or weak, let your dentist know immediately.

Is implant placement painful?

Implant placement is carried out under local or general anaesthesia and is completely painless. Any pain experienced after the procedure is similar to the pain that occurs after a normal tooth extraction and can be alleviated with suitable analgesics. 

Types of dental implant

Screwless implant

Screwless implants are not screwed into the jawbone, so compression is not performed. The titanium implant is inserted directly into the prepared cavity. Screwless implants have the advantage that the risk of the screw, and thus the prosthesis, loosening is removed.

Screw implant

Screw implants are widely used all over the world. Primary stability is achieved by screwing the implant into the jaw bone, facilitating osseointegration. When carried out in accordance with procedure protocols, the success rate of the screw implant is very high.

Endosteal implants

Endosteal implants are surgically placed in the jaw bone. A second procedure is then performed by healing the gum tissue and preparing the new teeth. In the last stage, artificial teeth, bridges or prostheses are connected to the implant in groups. It is the most commonly used form of implant in practice.

Subperiosteal implants

Subperiosteal implants consist of a metal frame placed under the gum but on top of the jaw bone. After the gum is healed, the metal frame is fixed to the jawbone. Protruding from the metal frame are small metal posts on which the implants are mounted.

Imported implants

Turkey now produces dental implant systems that meet world standards and respond to the needs of dentists in all clinical situations. As the sector progresses with each passing year and new brands are developed, the country is beginning to export implants abroad.

Esteurope’s state-of-the-art dental clinic in Izmir, offers the Turkish-manufactured Implance™ implant, as well as imported brands Zimmer Biomet 3i™ from Switzerland and Astra Tech from the USA.

About the author

Esteurope is a Hospital Center in Izmir, Turkey offering a comprehensive range of low-cost, cosmetic and general dentistry services at its own dental clinic and implant centre, NEW TEETH. The clinic is equipped with the latest technology and staffed by an experienced multidisciplinary team of dentists. Consultations are available at Esteurope’s contact office in Mayfair, London.

 

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