Dental implantation is the process of replacing a missing tooth or teeth that cannot be saved by conventional means. A dental implant is a "root" device used in dentistry to support restorations that resemble a tooth or group of teeth.
Dental implants will fuse with bone; however they lack the periodontal ligament, so they will feel slightly different than natural teeth during chewing. Dental implants can be used to support a number of dental prostheses, including crowns, implant-supported bridges or dentures. The use of dental implants permits unidirectional tooth movement without reciprocal action.
Dental implants date back to the 1960’s – it is only relatively recently that they have enjoyed such wide application and high success rates. Most implant manufacturers now enjoy implant placement success rates in the 90 percentiles – some over 95 percent. This has come about through the careful matching of patients with surgical protocols as well as improvements in the design of the implant fixtures themselves
There are a number of implant options that can be chosen depending on the prosthesis required and the for each specific case the most common being cement retained and direct to fixture, listed below;
Cement retained: This is the most common implant technique, which is created using either a prefabricated abutment or the use of a custom made abutment depending on the location of the fixture. The abutment is designed to get the optimal alignment for the implant crown within the patients arch. There are a number of options that can be used for the custom abutment, thus being cobalt chrome, titanium and zirconia. A crown or bridge is then designed to seat over the abutment depending on the requirements of the patient/dentist.
Implant direct to fixture: When the implant fixture is in a viable position to simply design a custom made implant crown or bridge direct into the implant fixture. This is determined as to the positioning of the fixture and is definitely a secure option.
Other implant options that can be designed are:
Cross pin implant crowns – can be used in majority of cases, for cases in less than ideal positions
Hybrid Implant bridges – used in cases of full reconstruction of maxilla or mandible. Supported by a metal substructure and can be finished in acrylic or Porcelain fused to metal.
Implant Bars – A fixed appliance for denture prosthesis.
Andent covers a wide range of dental implant componentry and is associated with a number of the leading implant distributors, listed below
- Nobel Biocare
- Bio horizons
- 3I Implants