An implant is a titanium screw that is implanted into the jaw bone, where it is then osseointegrated to serve as the root of the tooth. After the osseointegration process, an abutment is attached, which actually plays the role of the filed-down tooth onto which the crown is set. Prostheses placed on implants can be fixed by cement or special screws.
When a tooth is lost, the lack of force transfer onto the bone in that area, i.e. the lack of function leads to the deterioration of bone. That process continues at a faster or slower rate throughout life. By installing implants and placing crowns, normal jaw function is regained and the correct forces are restored to the jawbone, preventing further deterioration.
Crown installment often requires the filing down of healthy teeth. Since this implies the “destruction” of healthy teeth, the advantage of installing an implant is clear.
Dentures make people feel and look older than they are and they can often be uncomfortable. They have a negative effect on self-esteem and hinder the patient’s normal eating ability. In addition, they only restore 20-25% of function, unlike implants, which achieve 90-100% function.
Implants can entirely restore speech and chewing function to their original state. People who have been missing teeth for a long time can regain their confidence thanks to implants.
Modern implantology knows of no case in which it is absolutely impossible to install an implant, other than some extreme cases.
Some patients, such as those with diabetes, heart disease and patients undergoing anticoagulation therapy, require certain safety measures to be taken, but by no means is implant installation impossible.
Not even smoking is an absolute contraindication, although it does increase the chances of failure.
Mini implants are a smaller version of implants, which serve to fixate the upper or lower complete dentures. Although they usually fit well thanks to a vacuum, patients who have upper complete dentures often complain about discomfort in the large upper palate. On the other hand, lower complete dentures are often unstable and can slide around the mouth as a result of insufficient volume in the jawbone.
By installing six mini implants into the upper jaw, the upper complete dentures can be stabilized so that the large upper palate can be removed. The lower complete dentures can be stabilized with 4 mini implants.
In some cases, usually as a result of longtime missing teeth in specific areas or the entire jaw, jawbone deterioration occurs to such a degree that implant installation is initially impossible.
Jawbone augmentation entails a set of various techniques that are applied separately or combined, in the aim of restoring missing bone in order to create the necessary conditions for implant installation.
Augmentation techniques can be bone regeneration with the use of membranes or artificial bone, or the patient’s own bone taken from the chin or the ramus of the mandible. Bone can also be taken from the pelvis and transplanted to the jawbone.
Reliable implant placement is based on a thorough analysis of the available jawbone into which the implant should be placed. For the same dose of radiation as the standard x-ray, the Cone Beam CT gives us a 3D image, which we can then analyze using a special program.
Cone beam CT imaging enables us to:
– Determine the height and width of the bone in all three dimensions
– Rotate the image, separate parts of it and observe the anatomical structures from all angles
– Precisely determine the location of specific anatomical structures
Patients can get a 3D image done at the Roorto Center in Belgrade, and if indicated by the patient, it will be sent via a special Internet service, directly to the Dental Oral Center. Patients who get their imaging done in another city can ask that the image be sent to the office e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
After a tooth is extracted, 2 to 6 months need to pass for the bone tissue to develop, i.e. the conditions for implant placement. In some cases, an implant can be installed right after tooth extraction, if conditions are met.
If sufficient stability is achieved (implant sturdiness) the implant can be loaded with a temporary crown a few days following placement, until the production of the permanent crown, following the complete process of osseointegration. Immediate crown creation is also possible in case of placement immediately following tooth extraction.
The implant installation process itself is no different than any other oral surgery. It’s usually even easier than tooth extraction, especially impacted tooth extraction. Prior to the installation process, we must first analyze the x-ray image, perform a clinical checkup of the patient and establish his or her general health. The installation can then begin. If, during analysis or surgery, it becomes apparent that the missing bone must be augmented, in most cases it is performed along with the implant installation.
Once the implant installation process is complete, it is left covered by soft tissue for 3 to 9 months in order to osseointegrate, otherwise temporary crowns are placed depending on the situation and the agreement reached between patient and dentist.