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    Dental Implants

    Dental Implants improve the quality of life

    Twenty years ago the only available alternative for tooth loss were porcelain crowns or dentures, not the perfect solution. Progress in science and technology has led to the development of dental implants that today are the best solution for the loss of one or more teeth.

    What is a dental implant?

    A dental implant is an artificial tooth that is implanted in place of natural tooth that has been extracted. The screw shaped implant is surgically inserted into the jawbone. The implant consists of three parts: a titanium implant inserted into the jawbone; the structure, which is the part visible above the gum line; a porcelain crown manufactured in the lab.

    Who are suitable candidates for dental implants?

    Suitable candidates for dental implants are people who have lost one or more to have implants for health reasons. However, there are cases in which teeth, for various reasons, and people with dentures. Just about anyone who enjoys general good health is a suitable candidate. It is rare to find people who are unable after dental implantation, the body rejects the implant. It is important to mention that a failed implant does not necessarily need to be replaced with another implant. When numerous implants are performed it is possible to relinquish a failed implant. And here lies the importance of building a treatment plan prior to commencing treatment.

    What precedes the implant procedure?

    • The most important step before performing dental implants is the consultation process with the dentist, and the building of an implant plan. Before a patient begins treatment he must fill out a questionnaire and a health declaration. And in the presence of medical problems such as heart disease, diabetes etc, the dentist requires a record of your medical history. The patient is sent for X-rays, the most advanced being a computed tomography (CT) scan which will provide the dentist with information about your bone: its quality and quantity.
    • The dentist takes measurements of the patient’s teeth in order to prepare crowns or temporary dentures, as well as to prepare a model of the patient’s teeth for the construction of a treatment plan.
    • Once the dentist has a general picture of the patient’s health status, the x-rays and the model, he builds his treatment program, and writes a prescription for medication the patient must take prior to the implant procedure.
    • The patient signs a consent form which lists all the possible risks of the implant, just like any other surgical procedure.

    What is a dental implant?

    Dental implantology is a surgical procedure that is performed under anesthesia (local, general, sedation – see below) in the dental office and in special hygienic conditions. An implant performed under general anesthesia takes place in hospital. The treatment process for dental implants usually lasts from several weeks to nine months. In cetain cases, when the status of the jawbone is unsatisfactory, the process may continue beyond the year.

    The implant process begins with the insertion of the implant in the patient’s mouth until the gluing of the permanent crowns.

    There are several methods of transplantation:

    • Implants in one step: After tooth extraction, the tooth implant is inserted into the crater of the tooth according to the treatment plan (immediately following extraction) and is visible above the gum line. The implants are usually ready for their crowns after a few weeks.
    • Implants in two steps: The implant is placed in the jaw but is entirely under the gums and is not visible. Only after being implanted in the jawbone, is the implant exposed. Such an implant is performed in cases where bone quality and quantity are not in an ideal situation.
    • Implants in one day: Most implants can be performed in one day when they are in the lower jaw. In this procedure, the crowns are placed on the implants a few hours after implantation.
    • Immediate implant placing: An implant is performed immediately after a tooth has been extracted, thus saving the patient from suffering. The implant can be performed in one or two stages.
    • Immediate implant placing and early loading: Once the implant is in place, a new artificial tooth is matched to the implant at the same visit. In some cases of low bone density, especially in the upper jaws, a bone graft is necessary. In some cases, bone grafting is performed simultaneously with the implant placement, and in other cases, before the implant placement. In the latter case, there is a waiting period until the bone graft connects to the jawbone, and only then is the implant performed. Bone grafting increases the stability of the implants. Bone grafting lengthens the implant process.
    • A bone graft can take several forms: powder or block, with the block being either artificial or natural – bone is harvested from the body of the patient and is grafted onto the jawbone. Bone can be taken form a few different parts of the body. This is performed by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon, and can be performed either prior to or during implant placement.

    Is the implant procedure painful?

    Pain threshold varies from patient to patient. The dentist will do everything possible to relieve the patient during and after the implant. Naturally, the surgical procedure is performed under anesthesia. There are different types of anesthesia, and the type used will depend on the character of the patient and the nature of the operation.

    1. Laughing gas: In addition to local anesthesia the dentist usse laughing gas to relax the patient during the operation.
    2. Oral sedation: the patient takes a sedative before the procedure.
    3. Intravenous conscious sedation: The patient is given sedatives during the operation, which are administered by an anesthesiologist who monitors heart rate and oxygen level in the blood.
    4. General anesthesia: Sometimes an implant procedure is very long, especially when numerous implants are performed, or in cases where a patient suffers from high anxiety. In these cases, the implant can be performed in a hospital under general anesthesia.

    What is the life span of dental implants?

    After the implants attach to the jawbone, they become part of the patient’s teeth and must be taken care of in the same way as natural teeth. Home care of implants and crowns may extend the life of the implants. Patients should brush their teeth at least twice a day and clean between the teeth using dental floss. Lack of home care may cause an accumulative layer of limescale which causes gum bleeding, gum infection (gingivitis) and general discomfort. Implants that are well cared will remain healthy and last for many years, even until the end of the patient’s life


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