In Switzerland, more and more patients are opting to replace a missing tooth with a dental implant. This is the finding of the Swiss Society of Dentists SSO. What is dental implantology? Why use it? How does the procedure work? HELVIDENT answers all these questions. Our dental clinics in Fribourg, Aigle and Lausanne are staffed by dentists specialized in implantology.
What is a dental implant?
A dental implant is used to restore a missing tooth. It consists of an artificial root made of metal (often titanium) and a dentures screwed on top (often ceramic). These materials are naturally compatible with the human body. This technique is called implantology. It is performed by a dental surgeon specialized in this discipline.
Dental implant placement requires surgical intervention. The root must be placed in the alveolar bone, beneath the gum line. It's a more modern solution than wearing uncomfortable dentures or fitting a bridge, which requires extraction of a healthy tooth.
Dental implants represent one of the major advances in dentistry over the last 40 years. It's a durable and effective long-term option for replacing a lost tooth. The implant blends in with your teeth, giving you a flawless smile. As a result, the number of dental implants placed in Fribourg and elsewhere in Switzerland is constantly on the rise. And with good reason: the success rate is very high.
Why replace a tooth?
This technique can be used to replace a single tooth, a group of teeth or the entire dentition. It compensates for edentulism in all its forms.
- Single tooth replacement: the single implant is topped with a transgingival abutment and crown.
- Replacing several teeth: the dentist installs fewer implants than there are teeth to replace, and completes them with a bridge.
- Replacement of all teeth: a bridge is implant-supported on each arch to restore the entire dentition. This can be a fixed prosthesis or a removable prosthesis stabilized by implants.
Are you wondering why you should have a dental implant? Beyond the aesthetic aspect, the absence of one or more teeth leads to a number of problems. Firstly, the patient has difficulty chewing properly. Adjacent teeth also tend to shift to fill the gap. A missing tooth that has not been replaced also presents a high risk of developing a tooth decay or malocclusion.
The implantology procedure
The first step is to make an appointment with your dentist in Fribourg, Lausanne or Aigle for a clinical examination. If he or she determines that you need a dental implant, he or she will schedule another appointment for this surgical procedure. Depending on your situation, the implant can be placed in one or several sessions. In some cases, the crown is not placed on the artificial root until several months have elapsed, to allow it to heal properly.
In general, there are three phases to dental implant placement:
1 - The surgeon incises the gum and prepares the implant site in the jawbone. The gum is then closed. It will take several weeks, even months, for osseointegration to take place. This term defines the healing of the bone around the implant. Your dentist may recommend that you avoid certain foods during this period.
2 - Once the artificial root has bonded to the bone, the dental surgeon installs the titanium abutment. This connects the implant to the prosthesis.
3 - The dentist screws the implant onto the abutment. If only one tooth is missing, a custom-made dental crown is placed. If several teeth need to be replaced, a custom-made bridge is placed. In some cases, a temporary crown or bridge will precede the final installation.
In recent years, a new method of dental implant treatment has emerged. It eliminates osseointegration time and has the same success rate as the traditional technique. However, the patient must meet certain favorable health conditions to benefit from it.
Conditions to be met before dental implant surgery
Are you considering implantology? First of all, make sure you meet all the conditions by consulting one of our dental centers in Fribourg, Lausanne or Aigle in the French-speaking part of Switzerland. Your dentist will check the condition of your oral cavity and jawbones.
The patient must also be in good general health. Age is not a criterion, but there are a number of contraindications to dental implant placement:
- chronic diseases such as diabetes, leukemia, heart disease, etc.
- the smoking
- certain allergies
- renal failure
These contraindications slow down or prevent the healing process, and therefore limit the chances of a successful operation. Your dentist may ask you to undergo a health assessment by your general practitioner.
Please contact your nearest HELVIDENT dental center to arrange an appointment. Our team includes dentists specialized in dental implants in Switzerland.