What are dental implants and how do they work? 

Dental implant surgery is a treatment that substitutes injured or missing teeth with artificial teeth that resemble and operate similarly to natural teeth. Dental implants in Albania are a desirable solution to ill-fitting dentures or bridgework, as well as an alternative whenever the absence of natural tooth roots prevents the construction of denture or bridgework tooth replacements. 

The kind of implant used and the health of your jawbone determine how dental implant surgery is conducted. Many methods may be involved in dental implant surgery. The main advantage of implants is that they provide stable support for your new teeth, a procedure that calls for the bone to mend securely around the implant. Since bone regeneration takes time, the procedure may take months to complete.

Why do people choose dental implants?

Dental implants are surgically implanted into your jawbone to act as the roots of missing teeth. Since the titanium in the implants integrates with your jawbone, they will not slip, generate noise, or trigger bone damage like fixed bridgework or dentures. And the components will not deteriorate like the teeth that complement traditional bridgework. 

Dental implants may be appropriate for you if you: 

  • Have one or even more missing teeth
  • Possess a fully developed jawbone
  • Have enough bone to hold the implants or are willing to undergo a bone transplant
  • Have strong oral tissues
  • There are no medical disorders that will interfere with bone repair
  • Dentures cannot or will not be worn by those who are unable or unwilling to wear them
  • You want to improve your speaking skills
  • Are willing to commit to the process for several months
  • Do not use tobacco

Possible risks

Dental implant surgery, like any other operation, carries some health concerns. Nonetheless, problems are uncommon, and although they occasionally arise, they are usually small and readily remedied. Among the dangers are:

  • Infection at the implant location.
  • Injuries or damage to adjacent areas, such as other teeth or blood vessels.
  • Nerve damage can result in discomfort, stiffness, or stinging in your natural teeth, gums, lips, or chin.
  • When dental implants inserted in the upper jaw intrude into one of your sinus cavities, you may experience sinus difficulties.

How do you prepare for dental implant surgery?

A doctor who deals exclusively with conditions of the mouth, jaw, and face (oral and maxillofacial surgeon), a dentist who treats parts of the mouth that support the teeth, such as gums and bones (periodontist), a dentist who designs and fits artificial teeth (prosthodontist), or an ear, nose, and throat (ENT) specialist may all be involved with the preparation process for dental implants. 

Because dental implants necessitate one or more surgical operations, you must undergo a complete evaluation to prepare for the treatment, which includes the following: 

  • Complete dental examination. You may have dental X-rays and 3D photos taken, as well as reconstructions of your teeth and jaw.
  • Examine your anamnesis. Inform your doctor about every medical issue you have as well as any drugs you are taking, including prescribed and over-the-counter medications and vitamins. Your doctor may give you antibiotics before surgery if you have specific cardiac issues or orthopedic implants to help avoid contamination.
  • Treatment strategy.  This strategy is adapted to your particular circumstances and takes into consideration aspects like the number of teeth that need to be replaced as well as the quality of your jawbone and remaining teeth. 

Local anesthetic, sedation, and general anesthesia are all available in order to achieve painless dental implants. Consult with your dental specialist to determine which choice is appropriate for you. According to the kind of anesthetic you have, your dental care team will advise you on what to consume before the operation. If you’re under sedation or general anesthesia, arrange for an individual to drive you home following surgery and relax for the rest of your day.

What to anticipate before dental implant surgery?

Dental implant surgery is typically conducted as an outpatient operation in phases, with recovery time between surgeries. There are several steps involved in the placement of a dental implant, such as:

  • Removal of a damaged tooth
  • When necessary, jawbone preparation (grafting)
  • Implantation of dental implants
  • Bone development and repair
  • Abutment placement
  • Artificial tooth implantation 

From start to finish, the whole procedure may require months. A great deal of that time is spent recovering and awaiting for new bone to form in your jaw. Some steps might need to be combined according to your circumstance, the exact procedure performed, or the materials used.

When is bone grafting necessary?

If your jawbone is too thin or fragile, you may require bone grafting prior to undergoing dental implant surgery. That’s just because your mouth’s vigorous chewing action puts more strain on your bone, and if it can’t accommodate the implant, the surgery will most likely fail. A bone graft might provide a more stable foundation for the implant. 

A variety of bone graft materials can be utilized to repair a jawbone. A natural bone transplant, like one that comes from another part of your body, or a synthetic bone graft, like bone substitute material that can also offer support structures for new bone growth, are two possibilities. Discuss with your dentist the best solutions for you. 

The transplanted bone may take many months to produce enough new bone to sustain a dental implant. In some circumstances, minimal bone grafting may be required, which can then be performed concurrently with implant surgery. How you progress is determined by the state of your jawbone.

Setting the dental implant

During much of the procedure to place the dental implant, your oral surgeon will make a slit in your gum to reveal the bone. Holes are bored into the bone to accommodate the dental implant metal post. The post is placed deep into the bone because it’s going to act as the tooth root. 

You will continue to have a cavity where your tooth was removed at this point. If necessary, a sort of partial, temporary denture might be implanted for looks. This denture can be removed for cleansing and sleeping.

Waiting for bone development

Osseointegration begins after the metal implant post is put in your jawbone. The jawbone grows onto and joins with the top of the dental implant throughout this procedure. This procedure, which can take many months, provides a stable foundation for the new artificial tooth, much like roots provide for real teeth.

Putting in the abutment

After osseointegration is finished, additional surgery may be required to insert the abutment, the portion to which the crown will ultimately adhere. This small surgery is often performed in an outpatient setting under local anesthesia. 

To install the abutment, these steps are followed: 

  • Your oral surgeon will reopen your gums to reveal the dental implant.
  • The dental implant is linked to the abutment.
  • The gum tissue is then sealed all around the abutment, but not over it. 

When the dental implant metal post is inserted, the abutment is sometimes linked to it. That implies you won’t require a further surgical procedure. But, since the abutment is just below the gumline, it is noticeable when you open your mouth—and will remain so unless and until your dentist finalizes the tooth prosthesis. Some people dislike that look and would rather have the abutment set in a separate surgery. 

Your gums must recover for roughly two weeks after the abutment is set before the fake tooth can be placed.

Selecting your new lab-made teeth

Further imprints of your mouth and remaining teeth will be taken once your gums have healed. These imprints are utilized to create the crown, which is your lifelike replacement tooth. The crown cannot be fitted until your jawbone is robust enough to withstand the new tooth’s function.

You and your dentist can select prosthetic teeth that are detachable, fixed, or a mixture of both: 

  • Removable. This type is comparable to a traditional removable denture in that it can be partial or full. It has fake white teeth encircled by pink plastic gum. It is secured in place by being installed on a metal frame that is fastened to the implant abutment. It is easily removable for repairs or ordinary cleaning.
  • Fixed. A fake tooth is firmly screwed or glued onto an individualized implant abutment in this type. The tooth cannot be removed for cleaning or while sleeping. Typically, each crown is linked to its own dental implant. Since implants are so sturdy, numerous teeth can be substituted with one implant when they’re bridged together.

Following the procedure

You may suffer some of the common annoyances connected with any form of dental surgery, regardless of whether you underwent dental implant surgery in one phase or numerous phases, such as: 

  • Your gums and face will swell.
  • Your skin and gums may bruise.
  • Implant-related pain.
  • Slight bruising and bleeding. 

Following dental implant surgery, you may require pain relievers or antibiotics. Consult your oral surgeon if inflammation, pain, or any other condition worsens in the days following surgery.

You might be required to eat soft foods after each phase of surgery to allow the surgical site to recover. Generally, your surgeon will use self-dissolving sutures. If your stitches do not dissolve on their own, your medical professional will remove them.

Dental Implant Outcomes

The majority of dental implants are satisfactory. Nevertheless, the bone does not always fuse enough to the metal implant. For instance, smoking may lead to implant failure and other problems.

If the bone ceases to fuse properly, the implant is retrieved, the bone is cleansed, and the process is repeated in roughly three months. 

You may extend the life of your dental treatment—and your natural teeth—by doing the following: 

  • Maintain good dental hygiene. Keep implants, artificial teeth, and gum tissue clean in the same way as you do your real teeth. Cleaning the nooks and crannies around teeth, gums, and metal posts can be made easier using specifically made toothbrushes, such as an interdental brush that slips between teeth.
  • Visit your dentist on a regular basis. Arrange dental appointments with Dr. Roland Zhuka to guarantee the good health and effective working of your implants, and follow professional cleaning recommendations.
  • Prevent harmful habits. Chewing hard stuff like ice and hard sweets might destroy your crowns — or your natural teeth. Tobacco and caffeine-containing items that discolor teeth should be avoided. If you grind your teeth, seek therapy.

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