Our teeth are an integral part of our lives and our daily activities. When we eat, smile and talk, they are always in the front stage. This is why the loss of one or more teeth causes functional, aesthetic and even psychological impairment. Dental implants come remedy this inconvenience by providing a definitive and effective solution with a natural teeth appearance.
1. WHAT IS A DENTAL IMPLANT?
To explain what a dental implant is, we have first to make a small anatomical reminder of the tooth. The tooth is composed of two parts: a visible portion emerging from the gum coated with enamel called crown and another under the gum, within the jaw bone called the root. The dental implant is used to replace the root. It is a titanium screw (biocompatible and very durable) that is placed in the upper or lower jawbone to replace the root of the missing tooth. A prosthesis replacing the crown will be placed on this artificial root. The same process can be used to replace more than one tooth.
2. WHY REPLACING A MISSING TOOTH?
Besides the unsightly appearance of it, tooth loss has several medical drawbacks. The jawbone holds the teeth in place. It lives and dies with them. When a tooth loss happens, the bone resorbs slowly up to fading sometimes. Adjacent and antagonists teeth move to fill this empty space. The joints can be reached fllowing a tooth loss because chewing movements will undergo changes due to dental displacement. Speech difficulties may also occur (an anterior tooth loss can cause trouble pronouncing "S" or "V" for example).
3. WHO IS CONCERNED BY DENTAL IMPLANTS?
Dental implants can be placed with anyone, anytime as long as the need arises. Their contraindications are seldom and are those of general surgery (elderly patients with unbalanced chronic diseases or patients with very bad smoking-alcoholics habits and demotivated).
4. HOW DO WE PLACE DENTAL IMPLANT?
First of all, a hole where the artificial root will be placed is prepared by drilling the bone at the missing tooth. Then the implant is inserted and covered by the suture of the banks of the gum. Absorbable sutures are used and if necessary they can be removed within 7 to 10 days. Subsequently and in a second step, placement of the prosthesis is completing the procedure.
5. IS IT PAINFUL?
The surgery is done under local anaesthesia so no pain is felt during the procedure. Back at home, the dentist prescribes analgesics and anti-inflammatories to reduce the risk of post-surgical discomfort. He may ask patient to use an ice pack on the area of the surgery site and to avoid physical efforts during the day and to eat soft food day after surgery.
6. WHAT HAPPENS AFTER PLACING IMPLANTS?
The bone in which the implant was inserted heals around trying to integrate the artificial root. It may take from 4 months (upper jaw: cancellous bone) to 6 months (lower jaw: compact bone). The gum also plays an important role in the integration process. A healing screw is positioned on the implant during the entire period where the surrounding tissue will tend to cover it. In that way, the shape of the future gum will perfectly be adapted to the outlines of the screws that match the outlines of the future prosthesis. During this period, a temporary prosthesis will be set up to compensate for the aesthetic discomfort. After bone healing period, a second meeting with the dentist is organized and the final artificial crown is then placed over the implant. This new artificial tooth looks the same and has the same function as a natural tooth.
7. WHAT IS THE LIFETIME FOR DENTAL IMPLANTS?
A dental implant, well placed, with a good Osseo-integration and especially well maintained can last a lifetime. It does not only replace a natural tooth but it outperforms its characteristics. Its solid and resistant chewing micro shocks melts completely with the bone, protects it and strengthens it. An implant will not be removed unless there is a complication. But this is very seldom and most of the time complicated is treated.
8. WHAT TO DO TO MAINTAIN ITS DENTAL IMPLANTS?
A good dental implants maintenance requires an oral hygiene motivation. The instructions are almost the same as to maintain the natural teeth. Brushing is very important and must be rigorous, 3 times a day with the right method. It is also important to change a worn brush when necessary. The use of wire or interdental brushes can help access hard corners to brush. It is important not to forget the control visit to the dentist to sustain the rest of the teeth.
9. HOW TO COPE WITH FOOD FOLLOWING DENTAL IMPLANTS?
Immediately after the intervention (1st session: implant placement), a transition period must be respected to allow time to bone and gum to prepare for healing. During this period, it is recommended to consume liquid food during the first 3 days (soups, soups, yogurts, smoothies, etc.). Then, from the 4th to 6th day, you begin to reintroduce a soft diet (pasta, rice, eggs, fish, etc.). Finally, on the 7th day, a little firmer food may be added (meat, vegetables, bread). After placing the final prosthesis (2nd session), the resumption of food should be gradual to allow time for the jaws to get used to their new host. But the process is very brief and quickly you will taste everything you want.
10. WHY PLACE MY DENTAL IMPLANT IN TUNISIA?
In Tunisia, we offer competitive rates with high quality care without a waiting list. Indeed, we have excellent specialized dentists in Medicine and Surgery and Oral Periodontology having received training and courses in Dental Implantology in the US and in Europe. We work with the latest techniques and brand materials and our offices are equipped with facilities at the forefront of technology.