Dental implants

As many other treatments in dentistry today, dental implants are not only a new scientific approach, research and knowledge but also a treatment in clinical practice. Dental implant installation demands high level of expertise in planning, surgery and dental restoration. It combines of art with scientific experience. We shall try to give you all the information you should need in order to prepare for consultation with your dentist.

Implants give you comfort

  • Implants are certainly a huge investment into your health, esthetics and comfort, as one of our patients said:”They are worth investing in.”
  • Nowadays implants have become something usual, there is no better method for replacing a lost tooth. It will make you look natural, and sometimes even a little bit better. “Implantation” means planting, the root of the artificial tooth is not visible which means that it has taken over from the lost natural tooth root. The only visible thing is the crown of the tooth, usually made of porcelain, of colour and material very close to your natural dental enamel.

Better quality of life

  • Implant-supported dentures stay in place – they do not slip, slide or totter. It gives you safety and a natural feeling, and at the same time your looks are improved. Implants are durable, they protect the jaw bone tissue.

    Very often when making a bridge the adjacent healthy teeth have to be reduced in size, but with implants it is not necessary.

When did the implants first appear?

  • The first implants were made of iron and date back as far as Ancient Rome.
  • Teeth have always been of vital importance – those who could not chew, died of hunger. Tooth loss meant the loss of status and power. Therefore, it is understandable that in those moments, people tried, in various ways, to replace each lost tooth. There are fascinating documents, of a thousand-year- old dentistry art! However, for a long time it was only a dream to feel confident with your new teeth

Scientifically approved

  • Implant-supported dentures stay in place – they do not slip, slide or totter. It gives you safety and a natural feeling, and at the same time your looks are improved. Implants are durable, they protect the jaw bone tissue. 
    Very often when making a bridge the adjacent healthy teeth have to be reduced in size, but with implants it is not necessary.

What is an implant

  • There is a big number (over 80) of different implant systems which can be applied depending on each patient’s individual mouth condition. Implant is usually used as a base for a bridge or a crown. Basically all systems are similar. What you can read here refers to all possible variations in general.
  • Implants are usually made of titanium, which is solid and has biological compatibility. This means that it will bind to the tissue and will not degrade, neither cause allergic reaction. Therefore, we ensure:
  1. respect of biological principles
  2. optimal position of polished and rough implant surface 
  3. biomechanical design of the implant
  4. microspace control
  5. implant surface adheres to the bone

… And how does it feel in your mouth?

  • The most important thing you should know is that it gives you security. Intervention is painless. The procedure is performed under local anaesthetics – which is usual but not necessary. This procedure is similar to tooth extraction and the healing of the wound usually takes a couple of days.
  • It goes like this: A small cut is made to get to the bone. Then, the dentist, with the special drill for implants, drills directly into the bone. After this, an implant is inserted into the bone. After about three months, the implant is firmly connected to the bone and can be burdened. During this period you can chew and speak normally.
  • When the dentists has determined that the tissue around the implant is completely healed and healthy, then, also under local anaesthetics, dental crown base (abutment) is cemented, glued or screwed directly onto the implant. After that a temporary denture or crown is made.

Is it the quickest solution?

  • Nowadays, in media the terms ‘immediately’ and ‘now’ are very often used. Sometimes implants can be placed in several minutes which depends on the patient. In most cases, the healing process without burdening of an implant is the key to success.

Is the implant the best solution for me?

  • When is the implant useful?
    The first thing that should be clear is: no denture is as good as your own healthy teeth. Therefore, the primary interest of a patient should be to take care of their natural teeth. For many advocates of traditional dental replacements, the more of your own teeth, the more comfort with the denture. This is different with implants. Basically every lost tooth can be replaced with an implant without having to reduce the adjoining teeth. Also, implant supported bridge can replace several lost teeth. Implants are newer and more up-to-date than all former kinds of dentures.
  • Experts agree:
    Nothing in dentistry has not proved useful than dental implants. They are closest to the natural tooth.

What are the risks?

  • Some diseases or health problems can represent a risk, e.g. diabetes, especially the more serious cases, continual use of certain medicaments (such as psychotropic drugs, anticoagulants, etc), osteoporosis, head and neck radiation therapy.
  • Long term neglect of oral hygiene due to illness or negligence.
  • Even some habits could represent a risk:
    • Excessive smoking
    • Excessive alcohol drinking
    • Bad oral hygiene
    • Impatience

Anatomical conditions

  • Jawbones must be adequate and healthy. In the case the jaw bone does not have enough bone density to hold an implant in place, the bone graft should be performed.
  • While in the case of gum inflammation (periodontitis), the condition must be treated before an implant is placed. Implant could demand a lot of patience, but it is worth it, as you will soon not be aware of it.

What are the advantages?

  • When is an implant the best solution?
    Implanti štite oralno zdravlje.When is an implant the best solution
    An implant is an almost perfect replacement for the lost tooth. It replaces a lost tooth almost 1:1. Adjacent teeth do not have to be included, as with an implant there is no need for a bridge
  • The feeling of freedom.
    Implant is the best solution from the dentist’s point of view even when it is inserted instead of the last tooth in the jaw. Implants are inserted as a replacement for a lost tooth, but can also be used for fixed bridges. They can prevent the loss of jaw bone, replace an irregular natural tooth, a tooth which is loose or completely lost. They also prevent gum irritation.

What are the necessary conditions?

  • What is the most important condition for an implant to have solid support in the existing jaw bone. Your dentist will decide whether an implant can be placed immediately or, if necessary, the bone graft should be performed. Today there are various bone graft methods. A dentist will make a decision for every individual patient, if and which options are possible. In most cases, a part of your own bone (usually taken from the chin or hip) is grafted into the jawbone. There are also grafts that differ from all the others in that a synthetic form of graft is used. It is made of calcium phosphate and looks almost the same as natural bone. Bone grafting can be done either before or during the implant procedure.

When will the implants help me?

Modern dentistry offers a wide range of choice between different methods.

  • Is it possible to insert an implant if I have a few of my own teeth?
    Absolutely! Implants are almost an ideal solution. A couple (minimum of 2) implants improve the attachment of the denture
  • And what if I am completely toothless
    Living without teeth is presents a big problem in many ways. Without a denture your will have a sunken cheeked appearance, you cannot speak nor eat properly. This may cause malnutrition and various deseases of digestion organs. Social aspect is also important, as people without teeth often feel isolated from the rest of society. This situation is unacceptable nowadays considering the level of advancement in dentistry.

Newly found quality of life

  • Safely and firmly inserted ‘new teeth’ are not only a source of pleasure but they also improve the quality of life and health. Many patients, with their strong new teeth regained self-confidence and they feel more attractive. They generally feel as they are starting a new life.

Think long-term!

  • Whichever treatment you are considering, always think long term, and the implants are a long term solution. So, later replacement or denture expansion should be planned at the beginning of the treatment. You should also think about certain difficulties that may occur later on (aging process should be considered as well), how to take care of and handle it. Therefore, all the options should be taken into consideration and they should be adjusted to each individual patient’s needs and expectations. Prior to the treatment it is vital to take time for consultation and making a detailed plan!

Implant as a cure?

  • How can the implant help me to get healthy?
    Implant is usually made of pure titanium or titanium alloy the surface of which is specially treated so the cells of the bone tissue will always accept it without any problems. Even pacemakers and artificial joints are made of titanium!

Nature takes time

  • Healing is a natural process that cannot be hurried. First, a place in the bone will be prepared which will be completely filled with an implant, and then closed. Implants completely integrate into the bone. If an implant is not rejected by the body it can be safely built upon (burdened), so that the final denture can be attached to the implant.
  • What does the patient have to pay special attention to?
    The patient must take rest and maintain high levels oral hygiene. (S)he should not to do anything that would interfere with the healing process. In the first few days after the operation, one should:
  • Not put pressure on the implant, not even temporarily,
  • Not chew solid food,
  • Refrain from smoking,
  • Avoid strenuous physical exercise (sport NOT).

Following the operation there will be a wound that has to be protected. In some cases, additional precautionary measures, prescribed by a dentist will be necessary.

In order to avoid infection you should have necessary oral hygiene

  • Oral hygiene should be accompanied by mild but efficient treatments. Starting with antibacterial mouth wash, after a few days start gently brushing with a tooth brush, going over the area where the implant is placed, carefully removing the deposits. Later you can maintain your regular oral hygene with the toothbrush (you should never miss a single day).
  • Surely, some patients are fully aware that the success of every implant depends on the quality of oral hygene, i.e. on prevention of bacterial infections caused by dental deposits –plaque. You should take care of your personal hygiene, as well as follow the instructions given by your dentist and implantologist.

You must maintain high levels of oral hygiene…

  • Oral hygiene is a vital prerequisite for the survival of a dental implant!
    Plaque and tartar store many different bacteria. As long as you descale regularly before they cause any real damage to your teeth and gum, the biological balance in the mouth is maintained. When the number of bacteria grows in the tartar, there is a risk for dental caries and periodontal disease. Infections such as, periodontal disease represent a great risk for implant loss!

How to maintain oral hygiene

  • Ordinary toothbrush is not enough (not even the modern electric ones) as they cannot reach between the teeth! Dental floss and interdental toothbrush are absolutely necessary (there is also special dental floss for the area around the implant). Only with these you can remove the bacteria between the teeth.

How often should I go for check-ups?

  • Periodical check-ups after implant placement are determined by the dentist. The gum area around the implant is examined as well as how firm the implant stands. These check-ups should be done regularly, on the recommendation of the dentist-implantologist in order to have the professional cleaning of the mouth and teeth done. This kind of thorough mouth and teeth cleaning is a necessary investment in the longevity of teeth and implants.

How much does it cost?

  • The price itself depends on several factors such as: the brand of the implant system, implant model, number of implants needed, procedures necessary prior to implant placement, etc.
  • Unfortunately, in Serbia, the health care insurance system does not cover treatments in private dental practice. Therefore, patients have to pay the whole amount themselves.
  • Patients who have private health insurance abroad should consult their insurance on whether and how much it covers this kind of treatment. You should bear one thing in mind, implant treatment is always a matter of private contract between you and your dentist. Whether your health insurance covers the costs in whole or just partly, depends on the type of insurance you have with the insurance company. The cost also depends on the price of the implant system which can vary.
  • In Germany, from 1st January, 2015 changes to the Law on Health Insurance came into force. According to this law health insurance covers the cost of implant supported dentures. German patients with health insurance will be able to claim for the cost of the material while the patient pays for the procedure
  • Patients get the reimbursement of expenses proportional to the cost of the treatment. However, patients should be aware that some implant treatments are not covered by compulsory health insurance.

Who is performing the procedure?

  • Where can I find an experienced implantologist?
    In Serbia there is no specialised training in Implantology at medical faculties. Therefore, training is mainly done at postgraduate studies by means of training and courses overseas. In many European countries this kind of education is organised by numerous associations. In Germany there is as ongoing process of designing a uniform curriculum for all EU countries (European Curriculum), by an expert team (European Committee) of the European Association of Dental Implantologists BDIZ EDI. These courses vary, some are weekends courses while others are several months long trainings including both theoretical and practical education. As a result, in 2010, a partner association USSI EDI was formed in Novi Sad with the aim of providing courses in line with EU standards.

Certification

  • Certification
    Most European scientific societies as well as professional associations are working to achieve a more comprehensive and better quality of education. You should, therefore, try to choose a dentist who has a certificate issued according to strict standards, proven experience in the given field, as well as published scientific papers.
  • The Federation of Dental Implantologists (BDIZ EDI) gives certificates only to those dentists who are fully qualified and have great experience, especially in implant procedure. Members of BDIZ EDI Association, whose recent associate member is the Association of Implantologists of Serbia (USSI EDI), are working on raising of the quality of dental service, especially in the field of implantology.

How should I prepare for consultation?

  • Good implantologist always leaves enough time for consultation!
    Knowing about the procedure in advance will enable you to understand the terminology during the consultation so that you can express your special requirements. USSI EDI is preparing a brochure which will help you understand.
  • BEAR IN MIND:
    All information presented here is based on the average patient. However, we treat each and every patient as a unique case with specific characteristics which are of utmost importance when planning the method of treatment (e.g. each patient’s overall health condition, age, etc). Do not be afraid to be completely honest with us, if you are not, it could lead to complications. You should tell your implantologist if you are excessive drinker or a heavy smoker, if you are often under stress or have had any kind of ‘nervous breakdowns’, as well as, details of your oral hygiene.
  • You chose implants.
    CONGRATULATIONS! We appreciate your interest and for this reason, you can always contact us.
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