Dental implants are indicated for patients who are missing one or more teeth. Although there are several solutions to replace them, dental implants are, at present, the optimal solution.
What types of dental implants are there?
Throughout history, the macrostructure designs and surfaces of dental implants have been modified to improve their viability and long-term function. This is how there were designs of purely cylindrical implants, passing through implants called “in laminate” or even subperiosteal implants (the latter were not inserted in the bone).
Today, the most commonly used are, from the macroscopic point of view, those of threaded design (with multiple variants). If we were to go to a microscopic analysis of the implant, we would also see multiple variations in the implants, seeing implant surfaces treated with acid etching to increase the contact surface with the bone, etc.
That is why there is no ideal implant for all cases and it is necessary to take into account the different variables of the patient to indicate one type of implant or another.
How are implants placed?
The surgery for the placement of a dental implant is simple in terms of its execution, since the planning is usually the most complex and what we spend the most time on. As for the surgery, it is still a minor intervention in which local anesthesia is used (the same as for a filling or an exodontia) so that the patient does not feel any discomfort during the intervention.
Subsequently, after the incision design, a bed is carved in the maxilla according to the implant design and size protocols, inserting the implant and, at the end, stitches are placed. In some cases, the possibility of placing a provisional tooth screwed to the implant itself is considered, simulating the definitive tooth.
What care should be followed after implant placement?
Once the implants have been placed, we must distinguish between two types of care: some correspond to the immediate postoperative period and others to what we could call “lifelong” care.
- The immediate postoperative care consists basically in having the area sanitized with a very careful brushing and Chlorhexidine rinses. In addition to this, medication must be taken to prevent infection and excessive inflammation. Antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs are usually prescribed for this purpose.
- Lifetime” care consists of those that must be performed on a daily basis and that are almost as important or even more important than postoperative care. Special emphasis should be placed on scrupulous hygiene in the area of the implants and to visit the dentist at least twice a year for check-ups.
What problems can appear in implants?
The casuistry of problems that implants can have can be summarized in two: problems related to the implant and, on the other hand, problems related to the prosthesis.
Regarding the problems that can occur with a dental implant, our workhorse is mainly peri-implantitis. These correspond to an inflammatory entity that causes a progressive loss of the bone that supports the implant itself. The simile we usually use is that of periodontitis, which causes the same effect on the patient’s teeth, ultimately causing tooth mobility and tooth loss.
To avoid the uncontrolled progression of peri-implantitis it is very important to insist on hygiene and regular check-ups at the dentist. For our part, we will have to make an exhaustive analysis of the patient in order to carry out adequate prevention in each case.