What is an implant?
An implant, also known as a dental implant, is a small screw made from titanium and is placed in the jaw as a synthetic root. When placed in the jaw the implant will take on the role of the root of a tooth. An implant serves as a foundation for placing crowns, prosthetics or bridges.
The reason the implant is made from titanium is because the material is biocompatible, meaning the body won’t reject it. And because it won’t be rejected, it allows the bone to grow right against it. This process is also known as osseointegration. By making the titanium surface coarser it allows the bone to grow against it faster and easier ensuring that the implant will attach firmly.
At least 98% of all implants placed per year will successfully heal. This percentage is slightly lower for smokers, but even then the chance of complete healing is still big. The implants also have a high lifespan as between 90% and 95% of all implants will last for more than ten years.
The advantages of an implant
Increasingly more people are benefitting from dental implants because of the following reasons:
- Implants allow you to, once again, talk, laugh and eat carefree
- Implants are aesthetically pleasing
- Implants are comfortable
- Implants last long
- The dental implant treatment is very restricted. It will only directly affect the problem area.
- The dental implant treatment is very safe and reliable
Having your implant(s) placed at PHP dentist will allow you to profit from the aforementioned benefits.
When to consider a dental implant?
Did you lose one or more teeth? Then this can cause you many problems when eating, talking or even when laughing. Because you miss one or more teeth, you won’t be able to pronounce everything as well as you once could and you might feel too self-aware to smile bright. And this is such a shame! We think it’s important that you can eat what you want to eat, that you can communicate well and smile bright when you are having fun. Luckily, dental implants can solve all these problems.
A dental implant is the foundation for placing crowns, prosthetics or bridges which are used as a long term solution for replacing one or more missing teeth. Having a dental implant in combination with either a crown, prosthetic or bridge will give you a lifelike but also sustainable result.
Dental implants can also solve problems you might be having with your denture, such as it being loose or not attaching well. A dental implant can ensure that your denture fits better and causes less discomfort when eating, talking or laughing. If need be it’s also possible to place multiple dental implants for the benefit of an overdenture.
Did you lose one or more teeth, have a denture that is not attached well or are you dealing with a loose overdenture? Then having dental implants placed can definitely be interesting to you.
When can I have dental implants?
You can have a dental implant placed when your skeletal growth is completed. It differs per person when this is. Some people are done growing when they are 18 whereas others keep growing until their 23th. The duration of skeletal growth depends on, among other factors, your gender.
Is your skeletal growth completed? Then you can probably have a dental implant placed. There are however a few other conditions you have to meet. We will briefly discuss each of them.
Sufficient healthy jawbone
When extracting a tooth or molar the jawbone automatically shrinks a bit. This will not only cause the jaw to be smaller, it will also cause the jaw to be lower. The screw parts of a dental implant need to placed fully into the jaw. If your jaw has shrunk because of the extraction of a tooth or molar, then this might not be possible.
If this is the case, then there are still ways in which you can have implants placed. The dental implantologist will then first need to perform an operation to repair the bone. This will allow the jaw to be suitable for having one or more implants placed.
Your gums surrounding the remaining teeth and molars have to be healthy if you want to have one or more implants placed. As any potential bacteria could over time also infect the tissue around the implant which might lead to an infection. This infection can then end up growing so much that it will lead to a loss of bone which can have major consequences.
Are you dealing with periodontitis, also known as “gum disease”? Then you will first have to have this treated. Only when your gums are healthy, one or more implants can be placed. Did you have periodontitis in the past? Then there is a bigger chance on an infection when placing the implants. This is why we will always first thoroughly examine your teeth, before placing the implants. Placing the implants will only happen when the dentist has determined that your gums are completely healthy.
Are you currently using medication or do you have an illness or condition? Then this can negatively influence your immune system which is highly undesirable when placing dental implants. Dependent on the impact it has, the dentist can decide against placing dental implants.
Are you, for example, using medication for osteoporosis, such as bisphosphonate medication? Then the dentist might decide against giving you implants. Have you suffered a heart- or brain infarct and are you taking blood thinners? Then you will have to temporarily stop using these. Your dentist will inform you about all this during a consult.
Certain conditions, illnesses or habits (such as smoking) can cause the treatment to be less successful. Your dentist will also inform you about these risks prior to placing the implants. If you decide to have the treatment regardless then at least you will be aware of the lower success rate of the treatment.
Having a dental implant, step by step.
Do you want to have a dental implants? Then it’s important to know what the treatment looks like. The following steps will guide you through the process of having a dental implant placed.
The initial interview
During the initial interview you will get to meet the dentist who will be performing the treatment. During the interview a picture of your teeth will be taken to determine whether or not dental implants are a good step for you. The initial interview is also a good time for you to discuss any specific wishes you might have.
Based on your dental problems and your specific requests in regard to having implants placed, a treatment plan will be drafted. At this point the dentist will also provide you with an indication of the costs. Do you agree with the treatment plan and the associated costs? Then we will send a request for authorisation to your insurer. Upon approval we will proceed to the next step.
Having the implant(s) placed
Having a dental implant placed might sound like a severe treatment but is in fact a very simple procedure. After injecting a local anaesthesia the dentist will make small incisions to expose the jawbone so a hole can be drilled to place the screw. Your gums will then be stitched so that the screw will be fully covered and invisible to the naked eye. This whole procedure will take about sixty to ninety minutes.
It’s important for the implant to firmly attach itself to the jawbone. This, however, requires time. To ensure that your implant attaches well, the dentist will not immediately place a crown, prosthetic or bridge on the implant. Before that happens there is a resting period, also known as the healing period.
During the resting period you will be fitted with a temporary solution for your teeth, so you won’t have to walk around without a tooth or molar. When the implant is attached properly, which will take about three to six months, you will continue with the next step of the treatment.
Placing a permanent crown, prosthetic or bridge.
The dentist will check the implant and when he or she determines that it has attached well, the dentist will remove the temporary solution. Now your permanent crown, prosthetic or bridge will be placed. This will, again, require a small incision in the gums. Of course the dentist will give you an anaesthetic first. By making a small incision in your jawbone, the dentist will have access to the implant.
Important to know: This treatment is dependent on the type of implant. Someone who has a bridge placed, has a different treatment then someone who wants a crown. Your dentist will therefore always draft a personal treatment plan so you know exactly what is going to be happening, how long it will take and how much it will cost.
When your dental implant has been placed, it’s very important to take very good care of your teeth. To make sure that you are- and to check if the dental implant is functioning well, you will visit our dental practice for aftercare. Your specialist will have a thorough look at your teeth. Photos will be taken to check if everything is functioning well and the specialist will also talk to you about how you feel it’s going and if you think your implants are functioning well. If necessary you will be given some tips to take better care of your teeth.
Does your implant keep bleeding or are you getting a fever? Then immediately contact PHP dentists. In this case an immediate check-up of your teeth is necessary. However, if you are not facing any problems then your check-up will be booked without any urgency.
The costs of the treatment
The costs of the treatment are dependent on several factors. During the initial interview will be determined what you will have to pay for the dental implant(s) treatment. Your dentist will examine your teeth and will, based on these results, draft a treatment plan. Based on this plan you will be given an indication of the costs for this procedure.
Implantological procedures in case of a toothless jaw are often compensated by your insurance. There are rules and regulation to this but your dentist or insurance company can give you more information about this.
To qualify for this compensation, you will need to file an authorization request with your insurance company. On average it takes about four to six weeks for the request to get approved but this depends on the insurer.