Dental implants are classified as medical devices designed to substitute the missing root and to keep the artificial tooth in place. Generally, implants have a thread form and are made of biocompatible materials that do not cause reactions to rejection and enable attachment to the bone. The surface of the implant can have different textures and coatings normally used to increase adhesion to the bone.
In recent years, clinical research has led to a new type of implant called transzygomatic, which allows maximum use of the bone. These are implants in the area of the cheek (zygomatic bone), whose volume will not be affected by dental loss (as it is usually the case of jaw bones that can atrophy).
Patients with low bone density in the area can be treated with this technique without having to use more aggressive and worse prognosis practices such as bone graft. Dental implants, as stated by dental experts (Odontologists and Stomatologists) are indicated in patients with tooth loss (one, several or all the pieces), even where there is a tooth that can not be saved due to injury, fracture, very severe periodontal disease, untreatable cavities, etc.
CAN ALL PATIENTS HAVE DENTAL IMPLANTS?
Dental implants have few absolute contraindications; therefore, most patients can have them. However, implants are contraindicated in patients with certain rare autoimmune pathologies, patients that are taking medication that affects the bone metabolism (especially intravenous drugs) and others such as those with uncontrolled severe systematic diseases (diabetes, for instance). However, after exhaustive control of those conditions, implants may be used.
CASES WITH NO BONE FOR DENTAL IMPLANTS
The main problem found when placing dental implants is the absence bone density. Today there are plenty of techniques for bone augmentation and gingival tissue (white tissue and gums), as both are necessary for the correct positioning and long-term maintenance of implants.
Likewise, we can use regeneration techniques for horizontal bone augmentation, vertical bone augmentation, sinus augmentation, palate grafts and soft tissue tuberosity, among others. With this array of techniques, we can solve most problems.
TYPES OF DENTAL IMPLANTS AND MATERIALS
In the history of dental implants, different forms and types have developed to try to achieve a fast, intense and time-stable bone-implant relationship. Currently, It has been proven that the best material for the manufacture of implants is titanium (pure or in alloy), as it is considered the most biocompatible metal to use in human bone.
ADVANTAGES OF DENTAL IMPLANTS
Implants are the best substitute for natural teeth that have been lost, as they allow, once the prosthetic device has been placed, the recovery of the functionality and aesthetics of those, the rehabilitation of the dental piece, the ability to chew comfortably and safely, the rehabilitation of its aesthetic aspect, perfect phonation and the elimination of possible psychological trauma for not having teeth. Implants are, no doubt, the best substitutes of natural teeth that have been lost.
STAGES OF THE PROCESS
– Surgery: The implant is placed inside the jaw bone. It is a quite simple process performed using local anesthesia. In cases where the patient suffers from dental phobia or requires the placement of several implants in just one sitting, sedation is recommended.
– Osteointegration: A period between 3-4 months is needed in order to achieve the integration of the implant into the bone. The possibility to place a provisional prosthetic is available today; the final prosthesis will be placed once this stage has finished (simple and painless process). Porcelain and zirconium are the most demanded materials for this type of prosthesis.
– Maintenance: As with natural teeth, implants requires a series of oral care needs. For that reason, it is essential to maintain proper oral hygiene as well as to regularly visit the specialist.