Dental Implant Materials
Dental Implants consist predominantly of a Titanium alloy. Titanium is considered the most biocompatible metal due to its resistance to corrosion from bodily fluids, bio-inertness, capacity for osseo-integration and high fatigue limit. Titanium is also used in a variety of medical procedures such as knee and hip replacements.
Dental Implants Treatment Process
The implants can be placed immediately after the extraction of a tooth directly in the extraction site (immediate placement) or can be placed in areas that have been missing teeth for years.
After the implant placement, the body initiates a process called osseo-integration. During this process, the body builds bone around the implant. The osseo-integration period varies between 10 weeks and 5 months depending on the site (top or bottom jaw, front or back area in the mouth), the presence of bone grafting materials, the time of placement (in relation to the tooth extraction) and other factors.
During the osseo-integration period the patient is equipped with an interim restoration to restore function and aesthetics.
Early removal of teeth leads to the loss of jawbone and subsequently to loss of support for lips and cheeks thus resulting in facial changes. Implants and implant supported restorations help us prevent and restore this loss and the related changes.
Types of Dental Implant Restorations
After the osseo-integration, your dentist will place the restoration on top of the implant. There are several options available for an implant supported restoration.
The placement of an implant-supported restoration is the most conservative way to restore a single missing tooth. The implant-supported restoration consists of two parts. The abutment and the crown. The abutment is placed on top of the implant and secured with a screw. Afterwards, the dentist cements or screws the implant crown on top of the abutment.
If a patient has lost several teeth, two or more implants can be used to support an implant bridge, which will replace the missing teeth.
Full Arch Implant Restorations
If patients have lost all of their teeth in one jaw or the teeth can’t be saved, a fixed prosthesis can replace them. The full arch implant restoration replaces 12-14 teeth. On average, it is supported by 5-8 implants.
All on 4
In a few selected cases, a minimum number of 4 implants may be enough to support a full arch restoration.
Dental implants can help retain or stabilise removable dentures. A small number of implants is needed to stabilise and retain the denture in the jaw. This type of denture is called an overdenture.