Implantology has become one of the standard therapies in dentistry and is based on seriously documented scientific knowledge. The natural tooth consists of a crown and a root. A dental implant is an artificial tooth root which is inserted directly into the jawbone under local anaesthetic to replace a lost tooth.
What is a dental implant?
Over a certain period of time, the dental implant bonds with the bone (osseointegration). During osseointegration, bone cells form new bone around the implant. This new bone develops a firm anchor for the implant. The bonding of the implant with the bone is a prerequisite for achieving a strong foundation for the artificial crown/implant crown.
After healing, the implant acquires the same function as that of a natural tooth root. Just like a natural root, implants can prevent bone recession in edentulous jawbone, compared to conventional bridge and prosthetic restorations. This means that dental implants also serve a preventative function.
To restore the crown of the tooth, a structure referred to by specialists as an abutment is placed onto the dental implant. With the aid of this structure, artificial crowns or fixtures for prostheses can be attached to the implant. The adjacent picture (right) shows an implant with an abutment and a crown attached it to compared to a natural tooth (left).
When is an implant the right solution?
Dental implants are now considered the long-term, state-of-the-art solution for missing teeth. They are the ideal treatment for all patients missing teeth both young and old who, in the course of time, have lost teeth or have been affected by tooth loss. In some cases, teeth may be missing at birth.
Additionally, a variety of diseases such as periodontitis or caries can result in the loss of teeth. The use of a dental implant can restore a person’s natural smile and the functionality of natural teeth. Of all the alternative options available, a dental implant is the one that most closely represents a natural tooth. They also provide a firm foundation for support and positioning of a dental crown.
There are three different types of tooth replacement: the single tooth restoration, the replacement of several teeth and the replacement of all missing teeth.
If only one tooth is missing, the implant is inserted exactly in place of the missing tooth. The dental crown is then placed and crafted precisely to meet any esthetic requirements.
Replacement of several teeth
If several teeth are missing, implants can be used as anchors for bridges.
Replacement of all teeth
Option 1: Fixed denture
If all teeth need to be replaced, implants are also used as anchors to ensure a firm fit for the denture.
Replacement of all teeth
Option 2: Removable full prosthesis
In contrast to the fixed denture, the full denture can be removed by the patient. The implants are provided with a retention element (bar, button or similar), on which the prosthesis is held securely. The patient can then remove the denture with little effort for daily cleaning.