Anyone who has done their research on dental prostheses will have stumbled across implantology at one time or another. If a patient is missing one or more teeth, a restoration using implants is often the ideal solution.
The human body works according to the principle: “Use it or lose it”. Tissues that are not used begin to degenerate. The brain is a good example of this, since its cognitive and abstract capabilities decline if not exercised regularly. The same applies for the jaw bone: if one or more teeth are lost, the pressure on the bone is decreased and the process of bone resorption begins to take place.
Many tooth restoration methods do not work to prevent such bone loss. They place an incorrect or insufficient amount of pressure on the jaw and cause the bone to recede. However, a restoration using implants is different. Thanks to the artificial tooth root, the jaw is adequately loaded and has no reason to break down further.
“Under normal conditions, a completely toothless jaw will recede continuously due to the lack of pressure and result in the typical aged appearance,” says Dr. Regina Schinjalova, digital planning specialist at Dentaprime F3T Clinic. “The lips sink inwards and the chin migrates backwards. However, implants continue to load the jaw in the same way as a natural tooth root, ensuring that this aged facial structure never has a chance to emerge.”
Implants aren’t just ideal for preventing bone resorption, but are also unbeatable in terms of their appearance and ability to mimic a natural tooth. “In the best case scenario, a well-fitted implant and skilfully-crafted crown or prosthesis will blend in seamlessly with the natural teeth,” says Dr. Schindjalova. In contrast, a conventional full prosthesis – known commonly as “dentures” or “false teeth” – has an unnatural, unrefined appearance. In addition, it does not place adequate pressure on the jaw, eventually leading to bone resorption. Later treatment with implants becomes more difficult the longer the jaw remains toothless.
An additional advantage of implants is their diversity; they can be used to restore single missing teeth, multiple missing teeth or even a completely toothless jaw. If several teeth have been lost, a type of bridge construction can be placed over the implants. It functions in a similar way to a bridge on natural teeth; however, the key difference with a conventional bridge is that the neighbouring teeth must be ground down to stumps to enable them to function as bridge piers and allow the bridge crowns to be fitted. With a bridge restoration on implants, this filing-down does not need to occur, since the implants themselves serve as piers.
If the jaw is completely toothless, there are two alternative varieties of implant-based restoration to choose from:
- Implant-supported prostheses: The patient receives four implants per jaw. Various methods can then be used to fit prostheses over the top.
- Fixed crowns or bridges on implants: The patients receives around eight implants per jaw, with individually made crowns or bridges fitted over the top
Implant-supported prostheses are easier to clean than fixed dentures. However, they do not achieve the natural appearance that can be created by the implantologist and dental technician using fixed crowns. Each patient must decide individually which treatment suits them and their dental situation best.
The only disadvantage of a restoration with implants is that it is quite expensive. Here, too, patients at the Dentaprime F3T Clinic have an enormous advantage: in comparison with London competitor prices, they can save up to 60%.