Dental Implant

When dealing with partial or complete tooth loss, dental implants are used as a replacement. Implants are done in a manner so that they that coexist naturally between the remaining teeth and the overall structure of the mouth.

Implants are manufactured from chemically pure titanium, a bio-inert, stable and compatible material that is integrated in to the bone and soft tissues.

Small titanium posts are placed inside the maxillary bone acting as the “pillars” to support the teeth that will later be attached to them.

This type of treatment allows us to replace the missing tooth without having to damage the existing healthy teeth.

Each dental implant treatment is different, a personal study will be done, but the process usually follows these steps:

  • Study and planning
  • Surgery
  • Provisional crown placement
  • Healing & Bone growth
  • Final crown placement
  • Maintenance

Immediate-loading Dental implant

This type of implant is used when the condition of the bone and gum is optimal. In this case we can place the provisional fixed crowns on the same day as the surgery. Essentially it means you won’t have a missing tooth during the healing period.

This treatment is only used if a series of ideal conditions are met. If the conditions are not met it’s advisable to follow the traditional, progressive, implant method to mitigate unnecessary risks that may compromise the end result.

Post-extraction Dental implant

The main objective of this procedures is to dramatically shorten the overall treatment time with a reduced number of appointments and, also, to preserve the bone and gums as much as possible. As the name indicates, the implants will be placed immediately after extracting the tooth, without the need to wait for the bone to heal.

This treatment is only used if a series of ideal conditions are met. If the conditions are not met it’s advisable to follow the traditional, progressive, implant method to mitigate unnecessary risks that may compromise the end result.

Short Dental Implants

Normally dental implants, for reasons of durability, have a height of 8.5mm. As such a minimum height and thickness of bone is required so the implants can be placed. In some patients, the gum and bone may not meet the minimum requirements, in this case we can provide shorter implants that measure between 4 to 6mm to get around the problem.

With that said, when dealing with insufficient gum/bone we have two treatments available:

  • Bone grafts or sinus elevation surgery that will essentially increase the thickness and height of bone available. This will allow us to place the 8.5mm implants that are more durable than their shorter counterparts. However, the treatment takes more time and has increased costs.
  • Use the shorter implants of 4 to 6mm, which can be implanted in the bone available.

Complete oral rehabilitation

A complete oral rehabilitation is carried out when all the teeth must be replaced.

Traditionally these cases were treated with removable dentures. But removable dentures can, over time, cause gum damage and other problems such as sores, resorption of the bone, alteration of the taste of the food, discomfort, speech problems, and even nausea. For these reasons, treatment by Dental Implants is the recommended solution.

Bone Regeneration

After losing a tooth it is very common for the gum to retract resulting in bone loss. Generally speaking, the bone loss will worsen over time, making it increasingly difficult to insert dental implants.

To successfully place an implant, it is essential that the gum is in an optimum state and measures around 10mm in height and 8mm thick this ensures a strong and healthy base.

Today, we can solve this absence or deterioration of bone. Using different techniques and materials we have treatments that result in bone regeneration, such as bone grafts and maxillary sinus elevation.

There are different bone graft techniques according to the material we use:

  • Autograft – Bone from the patient
  • Allograft – Bone from a human donor
  • Xenograft – Bone from another species (mostly bovine)
  • Alloplast – Synthetic material

Bone Regeneration is performed before or at the same time as the implants are placed. Depending on the amount of graft needed, the bone will be taken from an area of the mouth itself or from other parts of the body such as the tibia or hip.

Maxillary sinus lift

A sinus lift is surgery that adds bone to your upper jaw around the area of your molars and premolars. It’s sometimes called a sinus augmentation.

The bone is added between your jaw and the maxillary sinuses, which are on either side of your nose. To make room for the bone, the sinus membrane must be moved upward, or lifted.

A sinus lift is done when there is not enough bone height in the upper jaw for dental implants to be placed.

The surgery involves an incision in to the gum tissue where the back teeth used to be. The tissue is raised, exposing the bone. A small, oval window is opened in the bone. The membrane lining the sinus on the other side of the window separates your sinus from your jaw. This membrane is gently pushed up and away from your jaw. Granules of bone-graft material are then packed into the space where the sinus was. The amount of bone used will vary, but usually several millimetres of bone is added above the jaw.

Once the bone is in place, the tissue is closed with stitches. Your implants will be placed four to nine months later. This allows time for the grafted material to mesh with your bone. The amount of time depends on the amount of bone needed.

Maintenance Dental Implants

After ending the implant treatment, it is important to carry out regular check-ups to look for any alteration in the gum, bone or in the implant itself.

Improper cleaning of the implants and the presence of tartar and bacterial plaque may cause irritation and inflammation of the gums, which may lead to periimplantitis.

The maintenance we carry out for dental implants is as follows:

  • Deep clean.
  • Detailed Gum inspection.
  • X-rays of the implant and bone tissue.
  • Complete inspection of the implants and all its components.

Peri-implantitis Treatment

When an implant treatment is performed, the gum and bone may suffer irritation and damage over time.

Inflammation of the gum or part of soft tissue around the implant is known as peri-implant mucositis. If the inflammation is also in the bone it is referred as peri-implantitis, the symptoms of this are:

  • Redness of the mucosa surrounding the implant.
  • An X-ray finding that there has been a bone loss in the supporting bone of the dental implant and surrounding area.
  • Pain when biting.
  • Implant movement.

The procedure we perform when diagnosing peri-implantitis is firstly a clean and disinfection of the affected area, we do this using ultrasound, air abrasion or laser devices. Essentially, we complete a deep clean of the implant, teeth and the surrounding gum. This is later supplemented with antibiotics to avoid possible infections.

In very few cases if the peri-implantitis is very advanced, the affected area will have to be decontaminated and the bone will need to be regenerated by surgery.

Removing the implant is always the last option, and will only take place in extreme cases where:

  • There has been an extreme bone-loss.
  • In the hollow cylindrical type implant, since it is not possible to clean it in its entirety.
  • Other unspecified technical complications.
  • Perforation of the sinus caused by peri-implantitis.