Dental implants

What is a dental implant?
A dental implant is a device in the shape of a screw, made from titanium or zirconium (inert materials, so the human body will not reject them) that replaces the root of a tooth.

What implants does the IDENTIS clinic use?
At our clinic we use three types of implants, depending on the need of the patient:
Straumann Implants (Switzerland)
Bredent’s Sky Implants (Germany)
Alfa-Bio Implants (Israel)

What happens during a routine implant insertion session?

Before any surgical intervention, you have to meet with the doctor that will perform said intervention, to receive answers for any questions you might have, and to be briefed on what will happen before, during and after your operation.
Firstly, the dentist will perform a surface anaesthesia with gel or spray to numb the gum; then the medic will inject a local anaesthetic. After the anaesthetic has kicked in (5-10 minutes), the implant insertion will begin. This procedure is generally not painful and takes about 40 minutes, during which an incision is made, tissue is parted, the bone is trepanned, the implant is inserted and sutured with non-dissolving wire. Sometimes bone addition is required, which is TOTALLY painless to the patient (for more information please ask the dentist).
Day-to-day activity can be resumed within 2 hours from the operation.

What can you expect after an implant insertion session?
The lip, cheek, and gums around the implant will remain anaesthetised for several more hours after the procedure, and then the effect will wear out. After this, one might feel a dull pain at the location of the implant, of low intensity. Antibiotic and anti-inflammatory treatment is mandatory after any surgical intervention, lasting 5-7 days. Also, you will receive a list of “Post-dental implant pointers”, that details everything that needs to be done in the days following the intervention, to avoid any discomfort.

What is the benefit to having a dental implant?
The insertion of one or more dental implants, reduces the number of teeth that need filing, in order to install a prosthetic.
Functionally, mastication is similar to the one performed with natural teeth.
Getting individual, tooth-by-tooth, prosthetics allows the patient better hygiene than in the case of bridges and better aesthetics.
With implants one can get fixed prosthetics as opposed to removable ones.

What are the risks?
As any surgical intervention preceded by local anaesthesia, this intervention also has certain risks of complications:
Anaesthetic risk: in the case of local anaesthesia , there can be a series of complications related to the anaesthetic substance as well as the patients health. That is why a knowledge of the patients medical health history and consultations with the patients other doctors are very important when considering an oral surgical intervention.
Surgical risk: in case of any surgical intervention there is a risk related to the performance of the procedure. This has to be discussed with the practicing physician.
Risk of swelling or post-op pain: the appearance of swelling and/or post-op pain after any surgical intervention can be diminished down to almost 0 if you will follow the medics indications to the letter: cold application to the area (externally) and anti-inflammatory medication in the days following the procedure.

What is the life span of an implant?
Today, in the US and western Europe, the success rate for dental implant insertion is 98%, a number dependent on a great many factors. Despite these factors, after 50 years since their invention, dental implants are considered to be a risk free treatment, and if properly executed and cared for, they can last you 30 years. To keep your implants for a maximum amount of time, certain procedures need to be followed:
Bi-yearly dental check-ups (4 times a year in the first year) are important and mandatory;
Implant patients should quit smoking;
In the case of prosthetics coming loose from the implants, the patient must see the dentist within 24 hours;
Dental hygiene must be strictly kept, using floss, oral showers, inter-dental brushes, as per the dentist’s instructions.