Dental implants have emerged as the best long-term solution when you are missing one or more teeth, including the loss of all teeth in a jaw. Although dentists tend to distinguish the terms for dental crowns and implants, the term “implant” is commonly used to talk about all three parts of the system: the crown, which is the only visible part of the implant; the abutment, which is the bond between the screw and the crown; and the screw, which is embedded into the bone. The number of screws needed is normally lower than the number of crowns, since 4-6 screws are enough to hold all the crowns in a jaw.
Going to the implant specialist for the first time
Initially, it is necessary to carry out a detailed analysis of the general condition of a patient in order to contemplate having dental implants. A careful analysis will help both the doctor and the patient to cooperatively plan the therapy in detail, which is the most important aspect of the whole implant-prosthetics process.
Dental implants therapy plan involves, firstly, determining the number of dental implants and crowns necessary for the full rehabilitation of a patient. It is preferable to plan the number, shape and position of dental crowns prior to planning the number and position of dental implants. This approach enables the patient to create a plan which best suits their available time and resources.
Today, patients are mostly well informed about dental implants when they first contact us, and they usually have a clear vision on how to solve their condition. As a rule, if a patient is sure about having implants, then bone grafting, time and money are not an issue, practically making the therapy plan worked out.
Who can get dental implants?
A number of factors determine whether a patient is eligible for getting implants, and the following steps have to be taken:
3D Cone beam CT analysis: if a CBCT image shows that the patient has enough jawbone mass to go for dental implants, then he is surely to be a candidate to get them. If the CBCT, however, shows that there is not enough bone mass, the therapy plan has to be modified and bone grafting is required. Although grafting is not a complicated procedure, a lot of patients are not aware of the fact that it is necessary before moving on, so they sometimes decide to give up at this stage, primarily as they did not take the extra cost into account.
Present trends necessitate taking care of the gums as well, since it has been proven that the success of the implant procedure tends to be more successful if the layer of gum tissue around the implant is thicker, so that in certain cases the regeneration of the gum is required alongside bone grafting.
Dental check-up: By having a check-up, the overall condition of the oral cavity is determined, jawbone structure, presence of bruxism or gum disease. Most often, it is necessary to remove the plaque, calculus, treat carious lesions and gum disease before starting any kind of dental implant therapy.
Determining overall health status: The healthier the body, the better it will accept the implants. Any sort of chronic disease decreases the likelihood of a dental implant therapy to succeed. It is important, however, to mention that nowadays there are protocols on how to approach placing a dental implant if a patient suffers from a serious condition. Having an illness does not mean you cannot go for a dental implant, however, it may add a level of complexity to the procedure.
Other considerations:Smokers are less likely to have a successful integration of the implant. Therefore quitting is highly recommended, otherwise other forms of prosthetic solutions might be considered. Any bad habits which may compromise your health will, as a rule, reflect the likelihood of a successful outcome. As far as the patient’s age is concerned, it does not play a significant role in therapy planning. What is important is that the patient is of good health, which includes not having acute diseases or vices, and having all blood test parameters within reference range.
The implant length is between 6 and 16 millimeters
How many implants do I need?
Here, we have to take a look at the therapy plan. Why? Because it is not uncommon that after losing a tooth, all neighbouring teeth start inclining towards the gap, making it impossible to raise a crown in the gap, even though we are able to place the dental implant.
In order to avoid these sorts of misunderstandings, it is of the utmost importance to have a complete plan before the procedure. The same goes for missing multiple teeth – it is necessary to look out for any changes in the neighbouring teeth, as well as any changes in the jaw and the bite. A detailed examination is required to take everything into account, since it does not mean that if a patient is missing four teeth it is now possible to replace them with four dental crowns, knowing that the number of crowns determines the number of implants required for the full rehabilitation.