What you should know if you need dental implants

After the extraction of a tooth, a series of esthetic and functional changes occur in the oral cavity that have a negative influence on the patient’s future quality of life.

This extraction will entail a reabsorption of the bone that supported the tooth, as well as the soft tissues (gingiva and mucosa) that surrounded it. This means that, in those patients with an absence of all their teeth, the prostheses they carry will present an increase in their mobility and, therefore, a discomfort in their use. The unfavorable movement of the adjacent teeth is also demonstrated. This means that both the adjacent teeth and the antagonist teeth (teeth with which the extracted tooth was biting) tend to “occupy” the space of the missing tooth, which causes a malposition of the teeth and a high risk of failure in a relatively short time.

For all of the above reasons, it will always be advisable to place dental implants as soon as possible after tooth extraction. When it is not possible to insert the implant on the same day as the extraction (due to infectious causes, poor bone quality, need to pre-treat the area, etc.), it is recommended to delay the implant between 2 months (in the mandible) and 3-4 months (in the maxilla), although it is true that the treatment of the implant surfaces is aimed at reducing this wait.

What type of implant may I need?

From the beginning, dental implants presented a very poorly worked morphology (both macroscopically and microscopically). This meant that the implants were mostly impacted, causing major defects in case of failure.

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Currently, a large percentage of the implants that are placed are made of titanium, a chemical element that meets a series of fundamental requirements for clinical use: its high biocompatibility, its resistance to corrosion and its excellent biological response with the surrounding tissues.

It should be noted that implant surfaces are also different, depending on the treatment applied to them. They can be differentiated into:

  • Mechanized implants: those that do not present a worked surface, they are currently in disuse.
  • Implants with textured surface: they already present a treated surface in order to obtain very favorable results in the long term.

Finally, a small mention should be made of zirconium implants, which arose from the need to rehabilitate patients with high esthetic requirements, as well as patients with allergies to titanium and its alloys.

How to take care of dental implants to maintain them to the maximum

Treatment with dental implants does not end with the placement of the prosthesis on them. After this first period, it is very important to establish some care and to establish a sequence of check-ups with the dentist, in order to avoid possible future complications, which can jeopardize the success of the restorations.

Many patients are unaware of the care that dental implants require, and it is the function of the dentist to inform them of this, as well as to expose the risks involved in an incorrect follow-up after completion of the prosthesis.

The prognosis of the treatment with implants is conditioned by the care and treatment carried out by the patient in a protocol manner. Therefore, the implantologist and/or rehabilitator should guide the patient in the maintenance therapy, showing specific hygienic techniques for his case (use of interproximal brushes, dental floss, oral irrigators, mouthwashes, etc.), as well as establishing the sequence of revisions in the clinic to verify the correct state of both the implants and the prostheses that support them.

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Is the placement of dental implants painful?

The placement of dental implants is a completely painless and minimally invasive treatment. It is a very predictable procedure, which is performed under local anesthesia, and that, in those patients with some anxiety to the procedure, conscious sedation and pharmacological therapy are a support to take into account. Both supports will provide the patient with a complete and absolute state of relaxation.

After the implants are placed, antibiotic, analgesic and anti-inflammatory therapy is administered, allowing the patient to return to his daily routine immediately.

In view of the above, it can be stated that dental implant treatment is a simple, predictable procedure that brings incalculable benefits to patients with one or more missing teeth.