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Dental implants

An implant has three parts:

  • the actual implant, resembling a hollow screw
  • a connector
  • a screw

Using implants to replace lost parts of the body is a common practice in medicine as well as in dentistry. Joint, vertebra and tooth implants have become commonplace.

While dental implants have been standard practice in dentistry for many years, they continue to be developed. Today there are eventitanium or ceramic elements to replace the root of a lost tooth. Titanium is a unique metal that combines many important qualities. Firstly, it is bio-neutral, which means our bodies do not treat it as a “foreign body”. Secondly, it is light, very resistant to change, and can even withstand strong forces, an important factor when we consider the strength of our bite force while eating.

Fitting an implant is a simple process, where we first create a bed in the bone and then screw in the actual implant. The bone then integrates with the implant, during which time a healing screw is fitted to createa dental pocket for any future restoration work. We perform the treatment under a local anaesthetic. After the bone integrates with the implant, which takes 4–6 months, further reconstruction is possible, although we can also perform some work before this.

We use implants to replace either a single tooth or many teeth, including when there are no teeth left. These aremore than an alternative to crowns, bridges and prostheses, as in extreme cases, such as with mandibular bone loss, it is the only method of maintaining a prosthesis.

While the process of positioning the implants is usually a relatively simple one, it is important to properly plan the treatment with an experienced prosthetist. A combination of experience and the support of CT is essential to plan a treatment properly.

At the Unimedex Clinic, Anna Graf PhD MD is our specialist in dental prosthetics.