Implantology is a branch of dentistry which deals with the fitting of implants into the bone in order to replace a lost tooth root. With the process of osseointegration, the implant, made of biocompatible material titanium, firmly bonds with the surrounding bone and enables a functional and aesthetic replacement of one or more lost teeth.
In which cases can an implant be fitted?
An implant can be fitted in case of a loss of one tooth in order to preserve the neighbouring teeth and to avoid their drilling for the fitting of a dental bridge. If case of a loss of more than one tooth, the implants can be used individually or in combination with the remaining teeth as bridge supports, and in situations of complete edentulism they can be used for fixation of dental prosthesis or production of fixed prosthetic work (circular bridge).
Implant fitting procedure
The fitting of an implant is performed under local anesthesia. It is completely painless and lasts
10 to 15 minutes per implant. The fitting of the prosthesis on the placed implants starts after three to six months, depending on the finish of osseointegration of the implant.
Successfulness and durability of implant therapy
Implants have been used in dentistry for over 30 years. With the application of new technologies the success percentage of their osseointegration keeps increasing and is now 97%. It depends on the patient’s overall health, quality and quantity of the bone and maintenance of oral hygiene. Durability of the implant depends on a series of individual factors; according to some studies it varies between 5 and 20 years, but with proper oral hygiene and regular check-ups it can be expected to last a lifetime.
Who is not a good candidate for implant fitting?
Implants can’t be fitted on young patients whose skeletal system still hasn’t finished growing and developing.
Local contraindications for implant fitting are pathological changes in the jaw bone and oral mucosa, xerostomia and poor oral hygiene.
General medical contraindications for implant fitting are poor overall health, rheumatoid arthritis, Sjögren’s syndrome, skeletal system conditions (e.g. osteomalacia, osteoporosis) as well as some metabolic conditions.
Juvenile diabetes is considered an absolute contraindication, while old age diabetes is considered a relative contraindication for implant fitting. Patients with cardiovascular conditions are advised to consult their physicians before the therapy.
Taking medications such as corticosteroids and immunosuppressants, smoking, pregnancy (due to the possibility of gingivitis), acute inflammatory conditions, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and infections are considered temporary contraindications.