This article provides answers to the following questions:
- What is a dental implant?
- Why are implant-supported dentures better than traditional prostheses?
- Who can get dentures on implants?
- What does the surgical procedure for implant-supported dentures involve?
- How much does this treatment cost?
But let’s start at the beginning. What is a dental implant?
An implant is a titanium screw that is able to osseointegrate with the jawbone when implanted. After the ossification is completed, it can be used as a tooth root for any kind of bridge, crown or denture.
Following the loss of teeth, the bone begins to absorb, so the jawbone starts to shrink as well. For this reason, the patient’s face becomes hollow and they have an ailing look. Unfortunately, this process remains if the patient uses traditional prostheses. It means that a dental prosthesis or an over-bridging of a missing tooth cannot stop the bone absorption. However, an implant can help the bone remain intact, as the bone cells grow into the micropores on the surface of the implant. This way the mouth and the facial muscles can remain healthy.
Why are implant supported dentures better than traditional dentures?
The greatest advantage of fixed teeth placed on an implant is that an implant lasts forever and it is stable. If you have already had a removable dental denture, you will experience a positive change when you use an implant-supported denture. This is because it feels like having natural teeth, while traditional prostheses make it harder to consume certain foods. Fix teeth replacements also increase your confidence. With them, you can laugh, eat and drink again freely, without being afraid that your denture slides from its place. The procedure for implant-supported dentures is fast and painless, and no allergic reaction has ever been observed.
Who can get dentures on implants?
Practically anyone, even though a preliminary laboratory test and a medical examination by a specialist are of course necessary. Also, smoking is a serious risk factor. Dentist always make personalised treatment plans to suit the patient’s specific needs.
What does the surgical procedure for implant supported dentures involve?
Before replacing a denture, the patient needs an initial consultation. During this the dentist evaluates the patient’s dental records. For the perfect result, an x-ray and a CT scan (if necessary) are done. Both will serve to determine the location of the nerves, and the amount of bone available for implant insertion. Based on this information, the dentist can determine the best locations for the implants. In general a full stabilization of a denture requires 6 or 8 implants.
Dental prosthesis can be performed in either one phase or two phases.
Single-phase implants can be applied even with significant bone defects, because during the implantation procedure the patient receives the temporary or permanent fix denture as well. In such cases, the dental surgeon makes a perforation where the implant is placed, and he puts the implants through the mucosa, with its end ’sticking out’ of it.
In case of two-phase implantation, in the first phase the dentist inserts the implant. At the end of operation he sews together the gum covering the implant. Nowadays dentists use absorbable sutures. These are a great help, because they spare the patient the discomfort of suture removal. If necessary, the dentist increases the amount of available jaw bone at the time of implantation. The procedure for increasing bone amount is dental bone grafting. Then the patient’s organism will need a period of 3-6 months for the ossification process. When the ossification is complete, the dentist applies the permanent teeth replacement in the second phase of the implantation.
Finally, an important question: How much does the treatment cost?
The costs vary significantly, both depending on the geographical location and (naturally) the implant manufacturer. More and more people tend to come to Hungary from abroad to take advantage of this service. The majority of our patients arrive from Great Britain, Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Italy. The reason behind this is simple: foreigners can receive a far less expensive, but still excellent and high-level service in Hungary. Eventually, they leave happy with their brand new, radiant smile.