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Dental Implants Worldwide

What are dental implants?

Dental implants are devices made of titanium that it are specifically treated to attached permanently to bone. The purpose of a dental implant is to create an artificial root for the tooth where there is otherwise no tooth present. These implants allow patients who have missing teeth or other dental issues to basically receive a fully functional new tooth where it was completely impossible before.

Parts of a dental implant

The body or implant fixture - this portion of the dental implant comprises the majority of the entire unit. Is the part that is screwed into the jawbone in order to create a permanent attachment inside the mouth.

The abutment - the dental implant abutment is the portion of the implant that sticks out of the gum line and allows for a dental prosthetic to be attached.

The dental prosthetic - this is the part of the implants that is visible in a patient’s mouth after the procedure is complete. This can be either a bridge, dentures, or a single crown.

While any dental implant will have the above parts, is always important to use implants made by reputable manufacturers. Lesser quality implants can lead to long-term issues such as implant breakage or infection.

Who is a good candidate?

Technically, any person who is missing all or any of his teeth can be a good candidate for dental implants. There are some alternatives such as partial dentures, but for those looking for a permanent solution should generally take a hard look at dental implants.

Many people choose to go with dentures, which are cheaper and generally require a less invasive procedure. However, many people complain about their inability to do normal things with her mouth such as eating, talking, laughing, kissing, and other normal oral functions. For those who are experiencing difficulties like these, a more permanent solution like dental implants can be a fantastic choice.

Some denture users also complained that they do not like having to remove and clean their dentures on a daily basis. Others find it uncomfortable to hook their dentures in place. Still others find it uncomfortable to have gaps in between their gums and their dentures that can trap food or other particles causing noticeable discomfort. These people will also enjoy the permanent, non-removable nature of dental implants.

Who should not get dental implants?

The first group of people who should not get dental implants are those who have unrealistic expectations of the kind of results they can receive. Before you consider getting dental implants, be sure to have a thorough consultation with your dentist so they can explain the pros and cons of the procedure and set reasonable expectations for the results.

Patients with severe systemic diseases and/or mental disorders may have trouble with maintaining the proper hygiene necessary for dental implants to work well in their cases. Also, patients with drug addictions, including heavy cigarette smoking, would not be good patients for dental implants. Smoking more than five cigarettes per day has been known to have a direct effect on the blood flow to oral tissues, which restricts the flow of oxygen to the implant site. This lack of oxygen prevents the dental implant from healing correctly and can lead to many complications or complete failure of the procedure.

For those patients that have receding gum lines or severe gum disease, dental implants may not be attractive. Sufficient gum tissue is necessary to anchor the implant in place after his attached the bone. Without sufficient gum tissue, a bone graft may be needed before the implant can be secured correctly.

If you are considering a dental implant near the back of your upper jaw, having unusually low sinus cavities can prevent the proper placement of the implant. Similarly, in the lower jaw, the location of the inferior alveolar nerve may be an issue if it is too close to the proposed location of the implant. In these cases, your dentist may be able to shorten the length of the implants or use other techniques in order to minimize potential damage.

Finally, if you are known to grind your teeth during the day or at night, this pressure can overload a dental implant and cause it to break or cause other issues. It is highly recommended that this kind of issue is diagnosed before an implant is done.

What is the procedure like?

Typically, the first step of the dental implant procedure involves the implant specialist studying the patient's oral history, x-rays, and performing any other necessary tests.

Some patients may require the extraction of their original tooth that is in bad condition before the dental implant procedure begins. This is the case, you’ll generally have to wait 2 to 3 months after tooth extraction is completed to allow the jawbone to heal properly. However, with the advent of new dental implant procedures, this may not be necessary. More on this later.

Once the appropriate examinations been completed, the surgical phase of the implants can begin.

Surgical phase

During the surgical phase, the permanent titanium rod that will be used to secure your dental prosthetic to the bone will be implanted into your jaw. This portion of the procedure generally takes 1 to 2 hours and is done under local anesthesia. The patient should feel very little pain or discomfort during this portion of the procedure. After the implant is placed, a temporary denture, crown, or bridge is placed on the implant as a placeholder while the implant heels.

Pillar phase

After the dental implant placed in the surgical phase has healed (typically 2 to 4 months), the “pillar” can be attached to the implant. This pillar is a necessary piece that connects the dental implant itself to the dental prosthetic that is placed on top of it. In modern dental implant procedures, the pillar phase may not be necessary as it can be done in conjunction with the surgical phase.

Dental prosthesis phase

After the gums heal completely, a dental prosthetic can be placed on top of the implant. First, impressions of your mouth have to be taken so that a proper prosthetic can be manufactured. After it is complete, the prosthetic can be placed on the dental implant in a single visit. Many patients will want to return in the following weeks dentist can evaluate the aesthetic and dental properties of the implant. After this, the entire dental implant procedures complete.

Immediate load dental implants

Over the last several years, immediate load dental implants have been gaining in popularity. The main difference between immediate load dental implants and traditional dental implants is that the immediate load implants are place in the patient’s mouth immediately after tooth extraction. This has been made possible through modern technology that allows implants to integrate into the bone more rapidly.

There have been several studies over the last decade examining the effectiveness of immediate load dental implants versus traditional dental implants. In general, the studies have found that with current technology, immediate load dental implants can be a sound permanent option for many patients. Patients must have sufficient bone material at the implant site and generally healthy gums in order for an immediate load dental implant to work well. But beyond these criteria, a high percentage of patients can use immediate load implants with confidence.

It is highly recommended to go over your dental implant options with your dentist ahead of time. There have yet to be multi-decade studies regarding the long-term efficacy of immediate load dental implants versus traditional loading methods. While immediate load dental implants can be a fantastic solution for many patients, you must bear in mind that there are some long-term potential risks.

Maintaining your dental implants

Although dental implants are not real teeth, they must be taken care of as if they were real teeth, and in some cases, require even more care. The muscles in your jaw can exert a tremendous amount of force, both up and down and also laterally, while chewing. Our natural teeth have something called a periodontal ligament, which surrounds the root of the tooth inside of the bone and prevents trauma from occurring. A dental implant, however, does not have this ligament and is therefore slightly more delicate. Because of this, regular checkups with the dentist are necessary, especially in the months following the dental implant procedure. The dentist must check for the alignment of teeth and your chewing motion to ensure that damage will be avoided.

As with your natural teeth, you must also be aware of plaque and tartar buildup. Periodontal disease is still the most common reason why people are missing teeth in the first place. These patients that lost their teeth and required dental implants are therefore more likely to get periodontal disease that causes loss of their implants. It is therefore as important as ever to maintain proper oral health even after your dental implants have been inserted.

Risks

As with any surgical procedure, dental implants carry a certain degree of risk. By far the most common risk is that they titanium implants will not integrate properly with the jawbone. Although extensive scientific studies have been conducted and much research has been done to improve the integration of the titanium implant into the bone, it is still possible that the bone rejects the implant. While this only happens in about 1% of cases, it is still a risk that patients should be aware of.

Along with this risk, there is always the risk that the procedure will be performed improperly. In a very small number of cases, improper dental implant procedures can cause failure of the dental implant over the long term, but due to modern patient screening and dental technology, the rate of long-term failure is less than 1%.

Dental Implant Tourism

Often, dental implants are not covered by a patient’s dental insurance plan or a patient that needs implants does not have dental insurance. And because of the relatively high price of dental implants in places like North America and Europe, many people choose to travel abroad to get their dental implants. This can save the patient tens of thousands of dollars in some cases, and today, the quality of dentists and dental technology around the world is extremely high.

Many people also choose to take what is known as a “dental vacation”. This usually involves a patient traveling to a country that is generally known for its tourism in order to receive dental implants. Some popular examples include:

FindMedicalTourism.com lists dentist from around the world, including prices, reviews from past patients, images from past procedures, and more. While all of this information is intended to help make it easier for a potential patient to make informed decisions, we always recommend that you contact multiple dentists in your chosen destination and speak with them directly about their experience and past results.

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