This guide provides an introductory overview of implants, why are they important for your health, as well as information on the implant procedure itself.
Importantly, this overview also provides guidance to the type of dental practitioner you should seek in order to perform this procedure, as well as questions you may want to ask them so you can rest assured that you are incapable hands that will enable you to enjoy a healthy and happy smile for years to come.
The reasons for tooth Loss
Tooth loss is due to a wide range of factors including but not limited to hereditary conditions, injury, or age-related tooth loss; but the two overriding reasons in adults are periodontal disease and tooth decay.
According to the CDC, about 2 in 3 adults aged 65 years or older have gum disease and 1 in 5 have untreated tooth decay. As a result, about 34% of adults in the U.S. are missing one or more teeth.
Tooth loss has far-reaching implications, as we will expand on further. These include a decline in the ability to chew properly, leading to a poorer diet, impediment to speech, and a diminished physical appearance that can have negative psychological and social implications.
Recent research has also found a link between tooth loss and cognitive impairment, as well as chronic medical conditions, although the connection is not yet clear.
What is a dental implant?
A dental implant is a mechanical structure that mimics the function of the natural root of the tooth. The single implant is topped with a crown that functions like the natural tooth crown. During the implantation procedure, the dental clinician inserts the implant into the jawbone. The clinician then caps the implant with an artificial crown made specifically according to the patient’s (your) anatomy.
Together, the dental implant and crown function as the natural tooth does; in chewing, talking, and of course, smiling.
Multiple implants can be used to support other variety of teeth-implants configurations to help replace multiple missing teeth or teeth gums and bone.
Most high-quality dental implants are made of titanium, a biocompatible material (which means the body “accepts” the implant and does not reject it). Studies have shown that not only does the body accept the titanium implant; it actually grows bone around it, a process called osseointegration. This process stabilizes the implant and in effect almost turns it into a part of your body.
Just like with natural teeth, it is very important to maintain good overall health and oral hygiene and care for your implants so they last a very long time.
Why are dental implants important?
The first thing that comes to mind is that dental implants help us retain and maintain the ability to chew properly and to eat healthy food, preserving our nutrition and health. They also help us speak correctly, keep smiling and feel confident in how we look.
Dental implants however play another critical role: maintaining the long-term health of our jawbone.
Not many people know this, but once a tooth and its root are lost, a process of weakening and loss of the surrounding gum tissue and bone begins.
Over time, this loss compromises the health and strength of nearby teeth and gums, causing teeth to move and constrict other teeth, thus putting them in danger.
The loss of the tooth and root also leads to a loss of the jawbone mass and density. Lacking the pressure of chewing (transferred to the bone through the tooth and root), the bone of your jaw begins to atrophy, losing mass and size, leading eventually to substantial loss of function and deformity of the jawbone.
In fact, when we look at the ‘classic’ facial features of an older person of times-past; we are actually looking at jawbone degeneration due to tooth loss.
Dental implants prevent this degeneration from happening, thereby playing a vital role in preserving the health, strength, and structure of the human jaw. The continuous stimulation through the proper function of our mouth, including correct chewing, enables us to maintain and retain a healthy jawbone and the young look that comes with it.
There may be indications when losing your tooth does not require dental treatment, for example, occlusion remains very stable (that is, the jaws close firmly and the teeth aren’t displaced). In many cases, however, there are treatment options available to compensate for tooth loss.
If the missing teeth are visible when you smile, or if your dentist is concerned about adjacent teeth moving, making a bridge that rests on the adjacent teeth may injure those teeth.
If there is widespread lack of teeth or no teeth at all, your dentist may recommend an option using a removable prosthesis. This prosthesis, when combined with existing teeth, may damage the gum and the teeth attached to it.
Implants present an especially advantageous reconstruction option for single, multiple, or full tooth loss. Your dentist or oral surgeon determines the type of implant treatment you need based on numerous factors: number and location of teeth, condition of the bone, general health, need for prosthetics, and more.
Screw retained restoration
Cement retained restoration
Choosing Your implantologist
Dental implants have come a long way and so have Implant procedures, yet it is still a process that may take weeks to months to complete and has important health as well as economic implications. It is therefore vital that you feel completely confident in the doctor you choose.
It is also important that you have a good rapport with your implant dentist. You should feel comfortable asking questions, and your doctor should be forthcoming, welcome questions, and encourage communication.
It is also important to ascertain that your implant dentist uses the best implants and materials that will achieve the best results and last for a long time. As a rule, the most common implant material is titanium, which as we mentioned before is a highly biocompatible material.
Noris Medical makes a wide range of innovative titanium dental implants and restorative components to help the dentist provide you with an implant-supported restoration for a long time.
The Implant Placement Procedure
The most common traditional implant procedure performed routinely in dental clinics around the world takes place in three phases:
- Assessing your mouth and teeth and devising a treatment plan. You may be required to have a dental CT or panoramic X-ray, and depending on the condition of your gum or bone, you may need a bone graft prior to implantation.
- Placing the implant in the jawbone. This process is relatively quick and is performed in the dental practice under local anesthetics. You then need to wait for your gums and mouth to heal, and for the implant to integrate with the bone – a process that takes between three to six months.
- “Uncovering” the implant. Your dentist secures an abutment and then a crown to the implant. The crown is made in a lab according to your specific dental measurements (your dentist will take an impression of your mouth).
Immediate loading of dental implants
Today there is a new generation of implant procedures that enable the completion of the whole process within one day (see “immediate loading” below).
Previously, implant dentists avoided putting force (“load”) on the implant until the surrounding tissue has healed and osseointegration occurred. Recent technological advances enable more accurate implant placement that causes less trauma and requires less healing time, reducing the need to wait.
Immediate load implants are especially advantageous if the missing tooth is at the front of the mouth. It is however important to keep in mind that immediate load implants require a high level of jaw and bone health, as well as other factors. It is up to your implant dentist to decide if you are the right candidate.
(The information presented here is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from a dental or medical professional.)
The Highest Standard of Quality
Noris Medical invests significant resources in creating the optimal environment for designing and manufacturing its dental products. Patient safety is at the forefront of our full implant creation process, and the entire manufacturing process is monitored and recorded for total process traceability, and all facilities are subjected to strict inspection procedures.
We also comply with the highest international standards for manufacturing and quality:
- All our products carry the CE mark and meet the European Medical Device Directive.
- All our products have the FDA Clearance.
- Our meticulous quality control system follows EN ISO 13485:2016 and FDA QSR 21 CFR Part 820 compliance guidelines.
- Our facilities are subject to routine audits by international auditors.
- we are a certified Class 10,000 Clean Room for production.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can each person have an implant?
Candidates for dental implants should be at an age when most of the physical growth is complete, usually at the age of 18. After this age, candidacy depends on specific clinical and medical condition.
What are the limitations to candidacy?
Each case needs to be examined thoroughly by the doctor, who will plan the individual treatment accordingly. Recent medical developments have enabled the majority of patients to benefit from treatment. In cases of bone deficiencies, complementary surgery techniques are available. Noris Medical is continually developing new solutions that enable dental professionals to provide solutions to a wider range of patients.
Who can conduct the implantation process?
A large number of implant procedures are relatively simple and most dental clinics are able to conduct them. It is however important to note that there are more complex implant procedures and special medical conditions that require treatment by a dental implantologist with advanced training.
How long do implants last?
Implants have proven themselves as extremely long-term solutions. It is important to note that just like your natural teeth, so do implants require regular and thorough maintenance of oral health in order to extend the life of the implant.
How long does the implant procedure take?
A routine implant surgery process is within the period of normal dental treatment. In cases of more complex processes involving several locations, the duration may be longer and require several visits. Implants that require prior bone grafting take a few months to complete, in order to allow the bone graft to assimilate into the jawbone prior to the implant procedure.
Will I get my teeth at the same day of the implant procedure?
This depends on one’s specific case and the treatment plan. In some cases, the doctor will place a temporary crown at the end of the treatment. In other cases, the patient is required to wait a few months for osseointegration to occur. This is an important process, whereby the jawbone grows around the implant, stabilizing it and in effect ‘accepting’ it as a tooth root.
Is the implantation surgery a painful process?
The implant placement procedure is a routine process, and according to patients, the discomfort is less than that of tooth extraction.
How long will it take me to get back to daily activity?
In most cases, the patient can get back to daily activity the next day after the procedure, unless otherwise instructed by the dentist.
What is the advantage of dental implant treatment over other dental treatments?
Implants show a high percentage of long-term success with almost no need for complicated maintenance, providing the patient with a higher level of convenience compared to other dental modalities like bridges or removable dentures