No more crowns, no loose dentures, third teeth as strong as their own - the prospects sound tempting. But how does such a treatment work? Can anyone get dental implants? What risks exist and in general - how expensive are implants? Maria K. has a problem: tooth decay has destroyed her penultimate molar in the lower jaw so much that a crown is out of the question. The dentist suggests using a bridge. But for this, the two healthy neighboring teeth must be ground down and crowned, because they are to form the bridge pillar for the missing tooth. The alternative: a dental implant. This could spare the healthy teeth, the gap would be closed. Dental implants are artificial tooth roots that are implanted in the jawbone.
Titanium roots carry the dentures
These artificial roots make every DIY enthusiast's heart beat faster - they look like screws, cylinders or dowels. The implants are made of titanium, a particularly well-tolerated, resistant metal that has long been used in medicine for artificial joints. Even in Greek mythology, one of the Titans, the giant Atlas, was famous for his strength, after all, he wore the heavens on his shoulders.
And so the titanium implants carry the dentures, mostly crowns, but also bridges, if more than two missing teeth form a gap. You can even securely anchor dentures. Therefore, the implants are so tight because they almost grow together with the jawbone.
Implants prevent bone loss
Apart from the fact that these third teeth are absolutely firm, there is one more decisive advantage for implants: They prevent bone atrophy (atrophy), because a bone that is no longer loaded is formed back. So if one or more teeth are missing and even in badly fitting prostheses, the bones are no longer charged, then cheeks and lips are eventually no longer supported by cooking and you look sunken. Finally, implants relieve the remaining teeth, because they can, as they are firmly seated, be charged like natural teeth.
Pain and complications
After the dentist has exposed the jawbone and milled a hole, the implant is inserted. The bone substance grows and encloses the implant. This healing period can take between six weeks and nine months, then in this common so-called two-phase method of dentures attached to the implant, usually screwed. The treatment itself sounds worse than it actually is.
The milling of the hole and the insertion of the implant are made on an outpatient basis, a local anesthesia is sufficient. In the biphasic method, the gums are re-sutured over the implant and later re-cut to create a type of post that forms the gum. In the single-phase method, all this is done in a single operation. The patient feels pain only in the oral mucous membrane, but after a few days, it heals quickly. Complications such as heavy bleeding or swelling are rare. If the gums are well cooled after the treatment, the swelling usually goes back very quickly.
However, there may be bacterial infections between the implant and the gums. Therefore, a particularly careful oral hygiene is very important. This also applies if the implant has healed and the denture has been placed on. Dental plaque endangers the implanted teeth as well as the own teeth. A biannual visit to the dentist must be so. If all goes well, such an implant will last at least ten years or longer.
No implants in severe diseases
Basically, every patient can get dental implants, there is no age limit. According to statistics, about 450, 000 implants are used in Germany every year. The experiences are almost entirely positive. Implants are less suitable for patients with reduced immune defense, eg during cortisone therapy, in severe heart disease, with advanced osteoporosis, increased bleeding tendency or non-drug-induced diabetes. You should thoroughly inform the specialist before such a dental treatment.
In the lower jaw insertion of an implant is usually unproblematic, because here is usually enough dense bone mass available to support an implant. In the upper jaw, the bone is less dense. So it may even be necessary to remove bone from the lower jaw or the pelvic area and bring it to the desired location in the jaw.