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Dec 30, 2016

Implants

If teeth are missing, there are different options for restoration. Your Snö dentist will consult you on what the best options are, as well as all the alternatives.

Implants are the most common solution today to replace gaps, but in some cases, a bridge is an alternative. Our dentists are experienced at the surgery required for a strong and reliable foundation for implants. In difficult cases, our specialist surgeon will take part in the treatment.

In the 80s, a Swedish dentist, Per Ingvar Brånemark (Nobel Biocare, is still the world’s leading brand and used by Snö) pioneered the idea of dental implants. He realised that the metal titanium is not rejected by the body, but is easily accepted as a natural part of the body. This means the titanium implant will integrate with the bone it is put in. This is called osseointegration. There are numerous people around the world with ‘new’ teeth using this method.

 
A close up of a single implant replacing a gap on front teeth. Implants, in many cases, can replace one, several or all teeth.

The bone quality is paramount.
The number of implants the dentist will fit depends on the bone quality and the available bone. In a completely edentulous (lacking teeth) jaw, six implants are sufficient. On these six implants, it is possible to place 12 new porcelain teeth. One implant can also be used to replace one tooth. The possibilities are many.


An example of a 3D cone beam scan before placement of the implant. All implant treatment at Snö includes cone beam 3D x-rays, 3D planning with prefabricated guides to enhance the result and maximise success. 

When you lose a tooth, the bone in that cavity usually resorbs. This is because without teeth there is nothing to stimulate the bone. When you chew, the pressure stimulates the tooth and subsequently the bone. When an implant is placed we can avoid the resorption of bone. But if one waits too long before inserting an implant, there might not be enough bone left.

In cases where a lot of bone has been lost it is possible to transplant bone from another part of the body. This may seem like a lot to overcome, but when the alternative is a denture, it is worth it.

An implant treatment is a well-documented and tested treatment. Furthermore, it has the highest success rate in dentistry. It has to be carefully planned to ensure success and requires, at the minimum, an extensive x-ray examination and consultation with specialists.

An implant treatment consists of two elements. A surgical part, where the dentist places the implant in the bone, and a prosthetic part, where the new teeth are fixed onto the implants. As a new implant in the bone needs some time to heal before you can put any load on it, your dentist must make a temporary solution. This could be a temporary denture or bridge.

When the bone is good, no preparation is needed. However, if loose teeth have to be removed prior to placing implants, it is important to give the bone time to heal. This way, we can be sure there is no infection left in the bone when placing an implant.

 
Two missing front teeth replaced with implants.

 
Close up from the biological integration of a single implant (left), and the ceramic crown attached to it (right).

Prognosis
The success rate for implants is very good. A long-term study shows that more than 90 percent of implants placed work very well. Regular visits to your dentist and hygienist will help ensure that your implants continue to work well. With time, the teeth on the implants will wear just like normal teeth and may require replacing. But in most cases, the implant will not need to be changed. If you lose an implant, it is possible to have a new one put in after a healing period.

Does it hurt?
Placing the implant is done under local anaesthetic, hence no pain is experienced during the procedure. Post-op, you can expect some swelling and moderate soreness. It will not be worse than having a wisdom tooth removed. We will advise you on the appropriate use of painkillers, if necessary.

Are complications to be expected?
Serious complications are extremely rare. Occasionally, an implant will not osseointegrate (root in the bone) leading to loss of the implant. In such a case you leave the area alone for a while to heal, before trying again, with a bone transplant. If it is deemed impossible to place an implant, you will need to discuss the alternative options with your dentist.

The quality and lifespan of the implant depends on the technique and time spent on the treatment.

A treatment can look and feel good, but can still have quality concerns. At Snö, we always document everything during treatment in order to ensure our high-quality standard. The crown/bridge carries a two-year warranty. If you follow our protection plan you can get up to 10 years of warranty on the implant and 5 years on the crown/bridge.

Oral surgery:
Implants
Root canal treatments
Tooth removal