Dental implants are the most trending and advanced option for replacement of one or more missing teeth. It is a nature like substitute for a lost tooth. It involves placement of a titanium screw inside the bone and recording an impression with abutment is for making the final crown or bridges.
In absence of all teeth, 6-8 implants can be placed in each arch and allowed to heal over a period of 3-4 months. After this period the impressions can be made for fabrication of the final bridges. In some cases 4 implants can be placed in each arch and a denture can be given to the patient within 72 hours of implant placement. This denture can be replaced after the healing phase.
In patients with insufficient bone or too much bone loss, basal implants can be placed. Patients who have lost large amount of bone over a long period of time, zygomatic or pterygoid implants can be done. The crowns in these cases can be given in 48-72 hours after surgery.
Planning and surgery to restore missing teeth has become very simplified and quick with the help of CBCT and digital dentistry. The dimension, site and angulation of the implant and final prosthesis can be planned even before the surgery is started. This increases the predictability of the treatment.
With ongoing research in the field of dentistry, the lost bone and soft tissue can be replaced by additional surgeries like sinus augmentation where the hollow sinus of the patient is elevated and bone graft is places to provide additional support to the implants. Procedures like guided bone or tissue regeneration utilize the bone substitutes and tissue grafts to guide the formation of new hard and soft tissue to restore the lost one. These may be derived from the patient or may be synthetic substitutes.
Progressive study of various dental materials have allowed fabrication of zirconia and PEEK abutments to give a natural crown in the anterior esthetic region.The crowns can be screw retained, cement retained or even screw and cement retained depending on the patient’s requirement and site of implant.
It is essential to maintain good oral hygiene for the longevity of the implant treatment. Proper brushing, rinsing, and flossing is essential to maintain the health of tissues around the implants.
It may get confusing for the patient to decide from so many available choices but the implant treatment is very precise and specific. Each case being different requires thorough diagnosis and planning to achieve a long-lasting result of the treatment. Implant treatment requires precise case selection and assessment of the need of additional procedures. In-depth knowledge and extremely precise clinical skills of the dentist only enhance the result of the treatment provided. Therefore it is very essential for the patient to choose an implantologist who can rightly take decisions for the patient and deliver an esthetic, functional as well as cost-effective treatment.