Dental implants in Geneva: 5 things to know
Replacing your teeth is not just a cosmetic act. A missing tooth means, above all, difficulties in chewing, a displacement of the adjacent teeth which tend to move or to be raised. This results in an increased risk of cavities and natural deterioration of the teeth.
After an accident, gum disease (periodontal disease), cavities or an accident resulting in the loss of a tooth, dental implants allow the restoration of masticatory capacities. They improve oral comfort, the aesthetics of the smile and self-esteem. The installation of these artificial roots is therefore increasingly requested by patients. Before embarking on this procedure, it is important to obtain information on the subject in order to have all the necessary data at hand.
What are dental implants?
Implantology is a technique that allows the complete reconstruction of a missing tooth.
The dental implant is an artificial root, often made of titanium, which measures between 6 and 18 mm in length and between 3 and 6 mm in diameter. The size of the implant depends on the type of tooth to be replaced (for example, an incisor implant is smaller than a molar implant), and the amount of bone in the jaw. This artificial root is placed inside the alveolar bone to replace one or more missing teeth. On top of this, the dentist will place a fixed dental prosthesis (often a crown or a ceramic bridge), or possibly a removable one.
An implant has the conical shape of a natural tooth root. Inside the implant is a connector that allows the anchoring of a trans-gingival abutment, which supports a crown or bridge, as required.
A dental implant is made up of several elements that overlap:
The dental implant itself
It is an artificial root that is screwed into the bone. Its size is approximately the same as that of a natural root. Once the implant(s) are in place, the surgical site must be carefully closed to allow the implant to fully integrate with the jawbone. When the implant is placed, a cover screw (a small flat screw) is inserted over the implant so that the gum can close completely over it. The advantage of this is that the cover screw stays deep under the gum and the gum covers it completely, the wound can heal quietly and the risk of infection is very low!
In the most favourable cases, where the risk of infection is low, a healing abutment can be placed directly, allowing the gum to heal directly around it. This reduces the treatment time and the number of interventions.
The prosthetic implant abutment
In some cases, the future prosthesis cannot be directly cemented or screwed into the implant. It is therefore necessary to use an intermediate piece, called the implant abutment, which is screwed into the implant.
This element allows the denture to pass through the gum without damage and serves as an anchor for the future denture. These parts are carefully designed to fit together perfectly and to screw in without any problems. They are usually made of titanium and are biocompatible.
Dental prosthesis: bridge or crown
This is screwed directly onto the implant or cemented onto the intermediate abutment.
The implant-supported crown:
The dental crown is the visible part of the tooth, which protrudes from the gums. It can be used as a cover for a damaged tooth, to improve the appearance of the teeth or their alignment, or attached to an implant, it can take a form similar to that of natural teeth, both in structure and function. A dental crown is a unitary element. It is a fixed prosthesis used to replace a single tooth. It can be made of ceramic, composite resin or zirconia.
The Bridge: a dental bridge held together by abutments
A bridge is a prosthesis that takes the form of a "dental bridge". The bridge method, as its name suggests, consists of placing a bridge made up of several artificial teeth to fill the gap left by one or more lost teeth. The bridge is supported by two or more pillars, which frame the missing tooth or teeth. A dental bridge can also replace one or more teeth. A complete arch can be reconstructed with 6 to 10 implants
In the case of complete edentulism, if the jawbone does not allow the insertion of enough implants to make a fixed prosthesis (dental bridge), it is possible to insert a limited number of implants which will serve to stabilise a removable prosthesis (denture). This improves the chewing ability, comfort and self-esteem of denture wearers.
Dental implants are reliable and long-lasting
An implant has the capacity to weld itself to the bone within which it is placed by the phenomenon of osseointegration. A period of healing is necessary to allow the implant to integrate well with the jawbone (It is this last which maintains the dentition and which will accomodate the implant). During this time, the bone will reform around the implant and in the grooves of the root, in order to immobilize the device.
This natural phenomenon is established between 2 to 3 months and lasts theoretically all the life. It creates a very strong mechanical bond between the implant and the jawbone. Once fixed, the implant can withstand the forces of mastication that are exerted on it.
The dental implant guarantees bone stimulation to avoid bone resorption. It replaces the natural root that has already been extracted or compromised. This is why it is required in cases of tooth loss. Experience has shown that the implant is more reliable and resistant than a simple removable prosthesis or a bridge. There are several factors that influence the success of implant treatment, including: bone quality, balance of the prosthesis, oral health and hygiene, distribution of forces on the implant, and frequency of visits after the procedure.
In general, 9 times out of 10, a dental implant lasts for many years. It is a reliable and robust technique with very few contraindications.
The different steps during surgery
The surgical procedure to place the implants takes place in the dental surgery in a room specially prepared for the surgery. For safety reasons, it is carried out under antibiotic cover. A simple local anaesthetic is required and gives a perfect operating comfort. In more important surgeries (multiple implants to be placed, or with important bone grafts), or in patients suffering from dental phobia, a general anaesthesia can also be considered.
The placement of a dental implant is a very common benign surgical technique. It takes place in 3 stages under rigorous aseptic conditions.
An incision is made in the gum to access the bone
Local anaesthetics are used to make the surgery completely painless. The damaged tooth is removed. The gum is then gently peeled away to gain access to the jawbone that will receive the dental implant.
Drilling to prepare the implant bed
During the implant surgery, the dentist uses pre-calibrated pins, which allow to progressively and gently make a housing proportionate to the dimensions of the implant. The drilling is done under physiological serum irrigation to avoid too much heating of the bone, and to remain in sterile conditions.
The implant is then screwed into the jawbone
The insertion area of the implant is already prepared and the implant is slowly placed in its seat in the jawbone. A cover screw or healing abutment is then placed, which is a plug to protect the implant from food and to prevent the gum from getting inside.sutures are finally made to hold the gum in place.
Fitting a dental implant: several sessions are necessary
Implant treatment is a relatively long process. It is necessary to distinguish between two aspects of implant treatment: the placement of the dental implant on the one hand and the connection to the implant-supported prosthesis on the other. The implant itself is a titanium screw that acts like an artificial root. This screw alone is ineffective for the patient and only becomes useful when the prosthesis (crown or bridge, depending on the case) is connected. The implant-prosthesis assembly then fulfils its masticatory and aesthetic role.
As a result, several sessions are required to fully replace a tooth with an implant:
- An analysis session of the situation, and in complex cases, an in-depth analysis is necessary, which will require other complementary sessions (3D radiology, study impression, realization of a smile design...)
- A surgical session (screw placement) followed by a healing control session and suture removal.
- The production of the prosthesis requires at least two sessions: one for the precision impression to determine the exact position of the implant in relation to the other teeth. Then, one for the insertion of the prosthesis.
In addition, the bone and gum tissue that will receive the implant is not always sufficient in quantity and/or quality. It may be necessary to reconstruct the bone and/or gum before the implant is placed. This will increase the number of sessions required.
The quality of the implant guarantees a better result
If you choose a quality implant, the success rate will be over 98%. It is strongly advised not to look at your health. If you have a quality implant placed by a professional, the success rate of the operation will be high. This also guarantees better healing after the surgery.
The quality of "top-of-the-range" implants is determined above all by the precision of the fit of the prosthesis compared to low-cost implants. But also the solidity of the connection screws, which guarantee a maximum life span of your implants.
However, certain factors can reduce the success rate of implants. If you smoke, you can expect a lower success rate (but still over 90%). Cigarettes delay the healing of the implant. Diabetics also have a slower healing time. People with inflamed gums should have this problem treated before receiving an implant. This can jeopardise the success of the operation.
Remember to maintain your dental implant
After a dental implant has been placed, it is important to know how to properly care for the device. The more care you take of the implant, the longer it will last. In general, patients who receive a dental implant are mainly "at risk" for caries, gum disease or periodontal disease. Hence the importance of good maintenance of the dental implant.
Do you need a dental implant quickly? Are you looking for a specialised dental centre? The Centre Dentaire Champel is available for any further information you may require.