Dental implants: the importance of a good initial evaluation

When is the use of a dental implant recommended? What does an implant consist of?

Implants are artificial roots. They are used when a natural tooth has been lost for some reason. They are made of titanium, a material that is widely used in medicine, since it has the peculiarity that it is very well tolerated by the bone, being very biocompatible. For this reason, hip prostheses, for example, are also made of this material.

In dentistry we have been using them for more than 40 years. They are the solution that is closest to the natural tooth. Once the implant has been placed and after a period in which the bone “holds it in place” (osseointegration) we have a new root on which to place a prosthetic crown. It is very important to make a correct evaluation of each case and determine, for example, if there is enough bone to place the implant. If, after assessing the existing bone, it is insufficient, we currently have surgical techniques that allow us to solve most of these situations:

  • Maxillary sinus elevations
  • Guided bone regeneration techniques

Much progress has been made in this area in recent years and these types of techniques are currently very predictable, i.e. there is a high success rate. Something that is fundamental is that not all implants are the same. In this field it happens as in everything: there are first quality implants and others whose manufacture does not meet the quality standards required for a product to be implanted in the body of a human being. Hence the differences in the prices existing in the market. Patients should demand to know the type of implant they are going to have and, of course, that at the end of the treatment they are provided with complete information about the implant. This is the only way to be sure that what you are wearing is the best.

What is the difference between an implant and a fixed prosthesis on teeth, a dental bridge? When is the use of each of them recommended?

In our clinic, we always work in the context of minimally invasive dentistry. This means that for us, the most important thing is to keep the natural dentition intact and, in general, to perform the least invasive treatments for the patient. When a tooth is lost and you want to replace it with a fixed prosthesis there are two options:

  1. An implant is placed, which is the artificial root on which the crown is subsequently placed.
  2. What is colloquially called a fixed bridge is placed, to hold the crown that replaces the lost tooth, we reduce the size of the neighboring teeth in height and width to be able to place the crowns that, attached to the first one, as pillars of a “bridge”, will keep it in place.

Both options are perfectly valid and both have their advantages and disadvantages. The second option forces us to “touch” healthy teeth in order to replace the missing one. Therefore, the placement of an implant is less invasive. However, each patient is unique, and in our practice we provide personalized solutions, analyzing each case to assess which of them is the most advisable for a particular patient.

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What techniques are performed at the Rosa Pulgar Clinic?

We carry out all the techniques, both surgical and restorative, for the complete rehabilitation of our patients. From implant placement, bone grafts, sinus elevations, mucogingival surgery…, with the most modern techniques and the highest quality materials to achieve the optimal results our patients deserve.

An interesting aspect of our work is the importance we give to the adequate planning of each case. Before performing any intervention, we assess the patient’s situation in terms of quality and quantity of available bone, periodontal health, etc., by means of the pertinent tests. With this information, and based on the scientific evidence available in the literature, we prepare a comprehensive treatment plan, not only for the surgical phase but also for the subsequent restorative phase. Both must be perfectly coordinated to achieve an optimal result. In addition, in our clinic we use the DSD protocol, Digital Smile Design, thanks to which the patient can see how the proposed treatment would look like before starting it. It is a very accurate approximation of the result and, without a doubt, it is something that our patients are very grateful for.

What are the results like?

Our results are backed by the high satisfaction of our patients. Many tell us that they feel at ease when we treat them. In our clinic we pay a lot of attention to the information we give them; we explain in detail the advantages and disadvantages of each of the possible treatment options, which makes it much easier for the patient to make a decision. This ensures that the results are in line with the patient’s expectations regarding the chosen solution.

Have you noticed a boom in dental esthetics in recent times? Why do you think more and more people are concerned about the appearance of their mouth or smile?

There is no denying the boom that everything aesthetic is having in medicine and dentistry. We are more and more concerned about our appearance. Looking good makes us feel good and, in addition, we know how important our physical appearance is in the image that others generate about us. Human beings are innately sensitive to beauty. It is not surprising, therefore, that we are concerned about our physical appearance. The smile is a very important part of facial aesthetics. A person with a smile with white, well aligned teeth is very pleasant to look at; the reverse is not pleasant. This is the reason for the boom in cosmetic dentistry today. However, cosmetic dentistry is much more than white and well aligned teeth. Its main objective is to achieve a perfect state of health and balance between the components involved in a smile, lips, gums and teeth. In our clinic we have the most modern techniques to treat each of these elements. Only in this way the result will be optimal.