The loss of one or more teeth significantly impairs the quality of life of every human being. A missing tooth, besides causing functional problems, also represents an aesthetic flaw that is for most people difficult to accept. Dental medicine has a solution for this in the form of oral implantology. It is a discipline of dental medicine that is based on oral surgery and dental prosthetics and deals with placing of special dental prostheses (implants) made of alloplastic materials (alloys, ceramics).

Implants can be described as components that are implanted into the bone and replace one or more lost root canals of the tooth and as components that are fixed in the bone, replacing several (or all) root canals. A more precise and accurate definition depends on the type of the dental implant , but basically the placed implant serves as a support for an artificial tooth which in its outer appearance and purpose has the same function as a natural tooth.

What are the benefits of implants for me?

he answer to this question is a very simple one, given that the implant is actually an artificial tooth that, besides looking like a natural tooth, also “assumes the work of the natural tooth“. We already explained that a missing tooth is not only an aesthetic flaw, but that it also causes a number of functional problems, ranging from difficulties when chewing to potential speech disorders. Thus, it may be concluded that dental implants play an important role in improving the quality of life. They can also improve the function of existing teeth or even fully assume their role.

With dental implants it is possible to fill the absence of one or more teeth, and contemporary implantology offers the possibility to resolve the state of complete edentulism in a fast and efficient manner – in such case the implants have the function of prosthetic support.

Implant placement is not a temporary solution, on the contrary. If the patient practices proper oral hygiene and regularly visits the dentist, dental implants can last a lifetime.

Specialist examinations of the patients, which can be performed in our practice, and patient consultations with the aim of selecting the optimal therapy are preconditions for the performance of implant placement. Then, prior to the insertion of the implants, sanitation of the oral cavity is performed and plaque is removed.

Which implants are used in your practice?

Our dental surgeons use the dental implant systems of the companies N Nobel Biocare, Impla, Schütz Dental and MIS. Currently, these are the top-quality implants available on the market and they have been used in all Europe and in the world for years. Several thousands of patients all over the world who are satisfied with these implants are the best proof of their top quality and safety.

What is the success of an implant insertion therapy?

Today, the success rate of such therapy is 99.5%.

Are post-placement complications possible?

Even though there is always some risk, statistical data show that the success rate of the therapy is above 99%, thus the risk is minimal. Yet, in very rare cases, it may occur that the implant cannot integrate with the bone and that can cause complications. It has to be emphasised that careful and detailed oral hygiene after placement is highly important in order to prevent a possible inflammation of the dental tissue. An inflammation can cause the implant to fall out, just as it can cause natural teeth to fall out.

Is implant placement a painful procedure?

The implant placement procedure is done under local anaesthesia so as to avoid pain and discomfort. However, just as with any other surgical procedure, the patient can feel a slight discomfort. In practice, most patients are positively surprised because they expected to feel a much severe pain during the procedure.

What does the implant placement procedure imply?

What has been deemed as an alternative procedure several years ago, today is applied as common practice. Prosthetic rehabilitation based on implants which imitate the root of a tooth can be subdivided into two phases:

1. Surgical phase includes all interventions necessary for the placement of an implant into or on the bone (jaw) and preparation for the uptake of the prosthetic work, i.e. the extension of the visible part of the tooth (crown, part of the tooth above the gingiva). To repeat, dental implants replace the natural root of the tooth, but each tooth, natural and artificial alike, must also have a crown.

2. Prosthetic phase implies everything that is necessary to place the tooth at the top or tops of the implants, but this follows after the process of osseointegration is completed. This process lasts for several months after the placement of the implant into the bone, during which period the implant is not in use and the body grows bone to the surface of the implant to fix it.

Koja je procedura ugradnje implantata?

Ono što je prije nekoliko godina smatrano alternativnim postupcima, danas je uobičajena praksa. Protetska rehabilitacija uz pomoć implantata koji imitira korijen zuba, može se podijeliti u dvije faze:

1. Kirurška faza obuhvaća sve zahvate potrebne za ugradnju implantata u ili na kost (čeljust) te njegovu pripremu za prihvat protetskog rada, odnosno nadogradnju vidljivog dijela zuba (kruna, dio zuba iznad zubnog mesa). Ponovimo, zubni implantat zamijenjuje prirodan korijen zuba, no svaki zub, pa tako i umjetni, treba imati i svoju krunu.

2. Protetska faza podrazumijeva sve što je potrebno za stavljanje zuba na vrh ili vrhove implantata, no ona slijedi nakon osteointegracije. Naime, nakon što smo ugradili implantat u kost, potrebno je nekoliko mjeseci (tijekom kojih nije u upotrebi) da bi kost izrasla oko njega i učvrstila ga.

Are elderly patients candidates for dental implants?

Very often elderly patients think that their age might be an obstacle for the placement of dental implants. Yet, the most important factor is their health, not their age. If a person is healthy enough for tooth extraction, then it might be assumed that the person is also healthy enough for dental implants.

Since there are different indications for implant placement, we perform an assessment upon the patient’s arrival in our practice and we also give advice as to the best treatment.

What measures of dental care should be applied post-operationem(follow-up)?

An implantological surgery is performed under local anaesthesia and is completely painless. The intervention itself does not hurt, however the placement site may get swollen. Therefore it is important to apply a cold compress on the placement site immediately after the surgery to reduce the swelling.

Furthermore, you must apply proper oral hygiene measures that we will explain to you in detail. Although the implants are not exposed to oral bacteria and cannot become inflamed like natural teeth, this is not true for the surrounding tissue which, when inflamed, can significantly disturb the process in which the body accepts the implant.

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