Dental implants in Satigny
Dental implants are artificial roots which are used to fix a tooth or a removable denture. By using implants, we can avoid grinding down healthy adjacent teeth and recreate a stable and comfortable chewing function and a good esthetic appearance.
What is a dental implant?
Dental implants have been used to replace missing teeth since the mid-1960s, but in recent years their use has become more widespread. They can be used to support crowns that replace a single missing tooth, bridges that restore a larger span of missing teeth, or even dentures. Implants are made of titanium, a metal known to be compatible with the body's tissues and able to bind to adjacent bone during healing. Studies and clinical experience have shown that dental implants are a safe and convenient way to replace lost teeth with a natural appearance and comfort similar to a real tooth.
What are implants made of?
A dental implant is essentially a titanium screw or cylinder, 6 to 14 mm long, that is inserted into the jawbone and serves as a replacement root for the missing tooth. A special attachment called an abutment, which is attached to the top of the implant, forms the external connection for the new replacement tooth (crown) or new teeth (bridge or denture).
During healing, the titanium surface of the implant fuses with the surrounding bone in a process known as osseointegration, which can take between 2 to 6 months, depending in the initial situaion. After this period, the implant is stable enough to support one or more false teeth.
Can I get a dental implant?
Dental implants are suitable for almost everyone who has lost one or more teeth and wish to restore their appearance or chewing ability; however, because it is important that the patient's jaws are fully developed, we do not recommend them in people under the age of 25.
Before an implant is placed, your mouth must be in a healthy condition, free of untreated cavities or active periodontal (gum) disease. If implants are placed in the presence of active periodontitis, there is a risk that an infection will develop around the implant, leading to its failure and loss. Your dentist will need to ensure that your oral hygiene is adequate before offering treatment, as the long-term success of implants depends on good plaque control. Once treatment is complete, you should be prepared to attend regular follow-up appointments with your dentist and dental hygienist so that they can evaluate the implants and take steps to prevent complications at an early stage.
We will be happy to discuss the various treatment options that are available, which will depend on many individual factors, such as your general health, the number and position of missing teeth, and the quantity and quality of your jawbone.
How does an implant treatment work?
After discussing possible treatments, we will perform a thorough examination of your mouth. We will then take x-rays of your jaws to assess the shape and condition of your bone and to locate the positions of any important structures, such as nerves and sinuses, that may be near the planned implant site. This allows us to plan exactly how the implants will be placed. Rarely, if x-rays are not adequate, a computerized tomography (CBCT) scan can be used to provide three-dimensional images.
2. Insertion of the implant(s)
Implant surgery can be performed in one or two stages, depending on your particular situation. In both cases, the surgery involves making a small incision in the gum to expose the bone and using a special drill to shape the implant site.
In the one-step procedure, the implant is inserted into the prepared bone, and then a so-called healing cap, which protrudes beyond the gum, is placed over it. This healing cap is removed after 2-6 months and replaced with the new tooth, or crown, which is screwed into the implant itself.
In the two-step procedure, the gum is sewn over the implant during the healing period. A second procedure is necessary to uncover the implant through a small incision in the gum and to fix the healing cap. Then, once the gum has healed, the healing cap is removed and replaced with the new crown.
A two-stage surgery may be necessary if it is necessary to increase the amount of bone at the site with a bone graft or bone regeneration technique. There may be several reasons for the lack of bone at the implant site, including a long time period without teeth, denture wear, and bone loss due to periodontal disease, aging, or trauma. When teeth are missing, the surrounding gums and underlying bone retract over time. This is because normally the presence of our teeth stimulates the natural renewal of bone, and without this stimulation the bone will melt away over time.
3. Preparation of the teeth and impression taking
When your gums have completely healed, we take an impression or a digital 3D-scan of your mouth. This will be used to make a stone or virtual model of your teeth on which the dental technician will build your crown or bridge, paying special attention to achieve a natural finish that matches the rest of your teeth.
4. Placement of crowns or bridges
Once your new crowns and bridges are delivered from the laboratory, we will screw them into the implant(s), evaluates their appearance and fit, and check that your upper and lower teeth fit together comfortably when you bite. We will usually ask you to come back one more time to make sure the implants are stable and working well, and that you are completely satisfied with the final result. From then on, together with our hygienists we will follow up on you regularly to make sure no inflammation or bone loss can develop. This is on order to make sure your implant will stay for many years to come.
How long will my implant last?
Dental implants have been used successfully for many decades and we know that with careful maintenance they will work for many years. According to studies, more than 90% of implants are still functioning after 10 years, but with a good maintenance and care they can have a much longer lifespan. To keep your implant as long as possible, it is strongly advised to avoid smoking. It is also extremely important to maintain a thorough oral hygiene program at home and to visit your dentist and hygienist regularly for a thorough inspection of your implant, teeth and gums. This will allow you to have your implant and teeth professionally cleaned and to quickly detect and treat any problems before they threaten the stability of your implant.
With very good oral hygiene, regular follow-up visits and avoidance of smoking, your dental implant is likely to last for many years.
What kind of implant will I get?
At Cabinet Dentaire de Satigny we use implants of the Swiss brands Thommen Medical and Straumann. In our opinion, the higher price of a quality implant is easily justified by its superior long-term performance and technical support in case of any problems.