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Dental Implants at Glance

Replace a single tooth
Replace several teeth
Replace all teeth
Tooth implant
Dental bridge
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What are dental implants?

  • Are a permanent replacement for missing teeth and provide a superior alternative to traditional dentures.
  • Unlike dentures, implants do not require an intrusive support structure positioned within the mouth. Instead, the dental reconstruction (or crown) is fixed directly to a titanium rod that is implanted directly into the jaw bone.

How do dental implants work?

For some people, dental prostheses or common dentures are simply uncomfortable or even unfeasible, due to sore spots or lack of adaptation to these devices. In addition, the dental prostheses are usually connected to natural teeth, on both sides of the space left by the missing tooth. With implant placement, it is not necessary to use a natural tooth to support the new surrogate teeth, preserving the health of the teeth.

An important point to know is that to receive an implant, you need to have healthy gums and proper bones to support it. You should also commit to keeping these structures healthy, what reinforce the importance of constant oral hygiene and regular visits to the dentist. 

The most recommended type of implant today is the integrated bone, which proved to be a revolution in the treatment of partially or totally toothless patients.

Integrated bone implant

They are implanted by surgical means directly into the maxillary bone. The period of osseointegration (integration to bone) takes on average 4 to 6 months, depending on the region receiving the implant. After this period, a second surgery is required to connect the implant to the oral environment.

At this stage, the dentist removes the gum that is covering the implant and finally, an artificial tooth (or teeth) is connected to the implant individually, or grouped into a prosthesis, which can be of two types:

 

  • Prosthesis Protocol: total implant supported prosthesis and retained implant, fixed on 4 to 8 implants on average, this type of prosthesis is screwed and removed only by your dentist, is a prosthesis that confers good aesthetics and is a great option for those who want to escape from the denture. It can be made of resin or porcelain.
  • Overdenture prosthesis: total removable prosthesis on implant. This type of prosthesis is cheaper than the protocol prosthesis because it requires fewer implants (2 to 6 on average) and is made of resin. This prosthesis is like a denture; however, it has a fitting in a bar that connects the implants, giving this more stability and retention. It can be removed by the patient and therefore its hygiene is facilitated.

In which cases is the dental implant recommended?

  • Replace a single tooth
  • Replace multiple teeth
  • Replace all teeth
  • Change your dental bridge
  • Dental implants for upper teeth
  • Dental implants for the lower teeth

How is the dental implant process?

  • Following a detailed initial consultation with our experienced Implant Dentist, your treatment begins with the fixing of titanium support rods into the jaw bone.
  • Sometimes the jaw bone itself needs to be built up before this begins – a process known as augmentation.
  • Our experienced dentist will decide exactly which course of treatment is required.
  • Following fitting of the titanium support rod (or implant) a period of time is needed for the implant to integrate with the surrounding jaw bone and gum line.
  • During this period, you will be fitted with temporary crowns. When the implant is fully integrated, the permanent crown will be fixed in place using a very strong dental fixative.
  • Surgery is required to receive dental implants; patients wanting to have dental implants should be in good general and oral health. Our dentists will affirm whether you are a good candidate for the surgery.
  • The recommendation is that this procedure be done from age 18 and up, because the dentition is already complete. Contraindications are pregnancy, some periodontal problem or lack of oral hygiene care, which can lead to implant loss.

Dental implant steps

  • Stage 1: Assessment and planning

Your first appointment will be to discuss your treatment and often involves taking x-rays and photographs. We will explain which methods are available to replace the missing teeth and we will discuss with you which one is most suitable. 

During the initial patient consultation we will set out a specific treatment plan to best suit your individual case and answer any questions you might have. 

  • Stage 2: Implant placement

A relatively simple minor surgical procedure is performed under sterile conditions in the dental surgery under local anaesthesia and, if indicated, supplemented by conscious sedation.

  • Stage 3: Integration period

Although some implants can be loaded into function immediately, or soon after surgery, it is often suggested that a period of three months or more be allowed for the implant to fully integrate before placing the tooth restoration on top of the implant. 

  • Stage 4: The restorative phase

Once integrated, the implants may need to be uncovered and can be brought into function with a variety of restorations, ranging from a single crown, small or large bridge, or, if preferred, a removable overdenture clipped to the implants. 

  • Stage 5: Maintenance

Following the completion of implant treatment, patients need to clean thoroughly around the implants, as instructed by the Oral Hygienist. Consultations with the dentist for regular review are necessary to maintain the health of the gums, bones, and the quality of the installed prostheses.

Types of dental implants

  • Dental implants to replace a single tooth:

Dental implants are durable, stable and the ideal solution to replace a single missing tooth and eliminate the need to grind healthy adjacent teeth.

  • Dental implants to replace multiple teeth:

Implants can be used to replace and support individual crowns or bridges. Support of adjacent healthy teeth is not necessary because implants act as replacement dental roots. 

  • Dental implants to replace all teeth:

In addition to being aesthetically beautiful, as well-maintained natural teeth, complete implants are more comfortable than dentures and bridges, ensuring total mobility and well-being for speech and feeding. Implants eliminate the need for adhesives to keep dentures in place.

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  • Dental implants for upper teeth:

The bone conditions for this type of implants need to be favorable, because the bones are usually strong at the bottom. Even so, the use of the overdenture technique allows the use of only 6 implants to support a complete arch with 10 to 12 replacement teeth.

This is possible because of a bar that connects the implants, giving this more stability and retention.

  • Dental implants for the lower teeth:

In this case, the bone in the front of the mandible is usually very dense, which results in less need for implants to treat the entire arch. Although in many situations it is possible to provide a simple treatment plan using only 4 implants, it is more common to use 5 implants to replace all lower teeth.

How much does a dental implant cost?

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FAQs

WHAT IS THE SUCCESS RATE OF DENTAL IMPLANTS?

Dental implants have an extremely high success rate, with an additional 95% success. These numbers are much higher compared to other methods of replacing teeth, such as removable dentures. Dental implants are widely considered as the best method of choice to replace lost teeth.

ARE DENTAL IMPLANTS RIGHT FOR ME?

All dental procedures, especially the most complex ones, such as implantology, begin with a detailed consultation with Dr. Gutierres. During this meeting, Dr. Gutierres will introduce you to exactly which treatment is most appropriate and everything will be developed in person. It is noteworthy that dental implants have superior quality to traditional dentures because they are permanent, have a very natural appearance, do not require support structures and fully restore the function of teeth and mouth, allowing natural speech and feeding, generating increased confidence and self-esteem.

CAN I RECEIVE DENTAL IMPLANTS?

The recommendation is that this procedure be done from 18 years, because the dentition is already complete. Contraindications are pregnancy, some periodontal problem or lack of oral hygiene care, which can lead to implant loss. Talk to a professional and tell them your needs to find the best alternative.

HOW CAN I MAINTAIN THESE IMPLANTS?

These ‘new teeth’ are maintained in much the same way as normal teeth. Specific brushing and flossing techniques will be taught. On your regular dental check ups the implants are to be reviewed. Good oral hygiene is required to ensure the long-term success of your implants.

How long will the implant fixtures stay in the bone?

These 'new teeth' are kept in the same way as normal teeth. Specific brushing and flossing techniques will be taught. In regular dental examinations, implants should be reviewed. Good oral hygiene is required to ensure the long-term success of your implants and the health of your gums.

HOW LONG DO THE IMPLANTS REMAIN FIXED ON THE BONES?

If titanium accessories are successfully integrated into the bone and are properly maintained, they should last for many years. However, just as you would expect conventional crowns, bridges and fillings to need occasional repairs or replacements during the course of their life, your implant-supported teeth may also require similar maintenance.

HOW MANY IMPLANTS DO I NEED FOR MY MISSING TEETH?

The exact number of implants depends on the number and location of the missing teeth, volume and quality of bone in the area. If a tooth is missing, usually an implant is what it will take to replace it. Larger gaps of two or three missing teeth do not necessarily require one implant per tooth. It may be possible to replace larger gaps with a smaller number of implants for the fixation of the necessary prostheses.

WHAT HAPPENS IF AN IMPLANT DOES NOT WORK?

If an implant does not integrate with the bone, it means that it has not reached a rigid fixation. Over time, it will loosen and will not be able to withstand a replacement tooth. There is usually no discomfort with implant failure and, as it loosens, it can be easily removed. If there are other implants remaining, it may not even be necessary to replace them. However, if you decide to have an implant treatment, you should be prepared to deal with the possibility that failures may happen. Implant treatments are a reliable treatment modality with a 95% success rate. In practice, this may mean that 1 in 20 of the implants placed may not survive in the long term. Talking about the possibility of failures with the professional is important to bring trust and transparency to your treatment.

Our Team

Stay up to date

Meet Dr. Pedro Gutierres

Dr. Pedro Gutierres started practising dentistry in the UK shortly after qualify in Lisbon, Portugal, back in 2006.

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Meet Dr. Debora Pardo Gutierrez

She is certified in Invisalign, the Lingual System, Self-Ligating Braces, DatSteel Anchorage, Advanced Toxins, and Fillers.

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Meet Dr. Filipe Costa

Dr. Filipe Costa graduated in Lisbon but his desire for improvement brought him to the UK.

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