Why dental implants are one of the most demanded dental treatments?

What are dental implants?

They are titanium fixtures that serve as a substitute for the roots of teeth that have been lost. Abutments or prostheses are attached to these implants to replace the missing teeth.

In recent years, implants have become the star dental treatment among Spaniards, why is this?

Implants make possible dental restorations and complete rehabilitations of a fixed type that are very similar to the lost teeth they replace. Being a fixed treatment anchored to the bone, they are comparatively no more expensive than fixed prostheses on natural teeth and are much more comfortable than removable prostheses in the case of complete oral rehabilitations. It is currently a conservative, predictable, comfortable and long-lasting treatment. There are hardly any contraindications for implant treatment, being the smoker patient the most at risk for lack of osseointegration.

When is this treatment used?

In the case of loss of a single tooth, several teeth or when it is necessary to rehabilitate a complete dental arch.

What alternatives are there to replace lost teeth?

Depending on the case, they can be replaced by fixed prostheses on natural teeth, which are called crowns or “caps”. In order to make them, it is necessary to cut or reduce the tooth surface of the remaining teeth in the mouth. The other alternative is the removable type. These prostheses usually have clasps or attachments as a retention and fixation system, which are supported on the patient’s mucosa or are mucosa-dento supported. They are the removable prostheses of a lifetime.

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What care should patients follow to keep dental implants in good condition?

Implants and prostheses should be checked every six months and annually to ensure that osseointegration is maintained and that the prostheses fit and occlude correctly. Prostheses can be made of porcelain, zirconium, combined with metal or metal resin. This type of prosthesis does not require extra fluoride if there are no natural teeth in the patient’s mouth. In fact it is not beneficial for ceramic prostheses.

It is necessary for the patient to learn how to maintain his implants with the help of a dental irrigator and to use oral antiseptics that keep pathogens under control. Just as there are bacteria that affect the tooth and its adjacent structures, implants can present mucositis processes in the surrounding gum or peri-implantitis that would compromise their osseointegration.

Normally we recommend a maintenance mouthwash based on chlorhexidine, the use of the irrigator and specific threads for the prosthesis and/or interproximal brushes. Upon discharge the patient receives these maintenance instructions. In the case of complete fixed oral rehabilitations, these should be supervised and if necessary disassembled for cleaning in the clinic. Screws and attachments should also be monitored and may need to be replaced to ensure the long-term success of the prosthesis and the implant itself.