What Are Dental Implants?

A tooth consists of a crown (area that is seen above gums) and a root (an invisible part under the gums and inside the jaw). To be more specific, the root is the element which holds the tooth in its place.

When a patient loses a tooth there is a need to restore or replace it. Dental implants were created precisely for this cause. Implant holding a dental prosthesis is shaped as a natural root.

Implant is a metal screw placed inside the jaw precisely where the tooth used to be.

Implants are commonly used to replace lost teeth. Naturally, implant becomes a steady foundation for a prosthetic tooth crown. Implants can be restored with separate crowns or can be joined together with a bridge or may have intermediate elements – there is no necessity to screw into your jaw as many implants as lost teeth. Implants are inserted in jaws under local anaesthesia.

Implants are made of titanium – a material which is routinely used in surgery for its superior toleration of human body. Implants are very likely to integrate with bone since they are approbated and passed through numerous tests. Patients taking diligent care of their new teeth should be satisfied through their entire lifetime.

Why Do We Need Dental Implants?

Individuals can lose their teeth for various reasons – infections, periodontal diseases or injuries. The remaining healthy teeth might migrate, collapse or elongate due to unoccupied free space. Incorrect bite can make chewing difficult. Eventually this gives an unpleasant feeling of ageing.

If placed professionally and correctly, dental implants can replace one or several lost teeth to prevent these problems. After a short period of time patients enjoy the ability to chew and speak, they repossess self-confidence and speech defects fade away.

Test: Am I a Candidate for Dental Implants?

If you do consider the possibility of having dental implants placed, most likely you would like to know if it could be relevant in your case. Please take this easy test and find out if dental implant could help you.

Please answer the following questions:

  1. Have I lost one or more teeth?
  2. Do I hide my smile because of a lost tooth?
  3. Do I lack confidence while smiling, talking or eating?
  4. Do I feel discomfort when eating, chewing, or talking?
  5. Have I lost a mobile tooth and do I need a periodontal disease treatment?
  6. Do I wear denture that falls out or causes great discomfort while eating?
  7. Does my dentist have to readjust my dentures frequently because of bone atrophy?
  8. Do I carry dentures in my pocket or leave it at home?
  9. Do I have any problems with my existing crowns or bridgework?
  10. Is the bridge-holding tooth loose?

If you have answered “Yes” to more than one of the questions above, you could consider implant placement in our Clinic.

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How Do Implants Function?

A dental implant substitutes a normal tooth and restores both function and aesthetics. Implant is placed in the same spot as a natural tooth was before.

Implants can be used in various cases:

  • To replace one missing tooth with an implant and a crown – in such case there is no need to polish neighbouring teeth;
  • To replace several missing teeth with implants and separate crowns or with implants and a fixed bridgework connecting them;
  • To dispose removable partial dentures and be able to chew as with your natural teeth;
  • To place several implants in edentulous jaw and provide support for removable denture.
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How Does the Implant Surgery Look Like?

Our surgeon will consult with you to determine your personal treatment plan and to evaluate the possibility of implant placement. Our specialists will conduct a thorough examination of your medical history, will make necessary x-rays and execute a meticulous dental analysis. If you could benefit from implant surgery and it is truly necessary, the subsequent procedure shall follow:

  1. The implant is placed into your jaw. There is no pain experience, as the procedure is done under local anaesthesia. Sutures are removed 7-10 days after the surgery. The healing process takes approximately four months. During this time the implant fuses with the jaw. This process is called osseointegration.
  2. A mini-surgery (implant top exposure) is performed. Our dentist will attach a healing abutment on top of the implant. Gums will heal nicely around the abutment shortly. This short procedure is performed under local anaesthesia as well.
  3. Prosthetics is the last part of such treatment. A tooth replacement called a crown will be created for you by our prosthodontists, after making an impression of your teeth. More than one visit will be necessary to form your teeth precisely. Your teeth will look natural and strong after prosthetics procedures. Please read more about prosthetics with implants in our section “Prosthodontics”.
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What Factors Influence Implant Longevity?

Lasting success depends on many factors, but the main factors are bone quantity and quality. Harder and thicker bone gives more chance for implant integration and longevity. Furthermore, individual patient care has a massive impact on implant longevity. The next important factor is experience and competence of physician performing implant surgery, what we can assure in Vilnius Implantology Center as our doctors have great experience and constantly renew their knowledge in international congresses and courses. Another exceptionally significant factor is the excellence of prosthesis itself. Bite forces might spread out of proportion if prosthesis is moulded on implant incorrectly. This might lead to considerably shorter durability of the implant

Who Can Place Implants?

General practice dentists can place implants once they complete special courses. However, we believe that best results are obtained when implant surgery is performed by experts in oral-maxillofacial surgery and periodontology. We can guarantee the best results as only experts perform implant surgery in Vilnius Implantology Center. Our team is rather young but highly competent. We have been specialising in this particular sphere for the last seven years.

Is There an Age Limit for Having Dental Implants?

Patient age by no means is an obstacle for implant treatment.

Our oldest patient who had successful implantation and received prosthesis in Vilnius Implantology Center was 76 year old man. Boys younger than 18 years and girls younger than 17 years cannot have dental implants placed due to continuing jaw growth.

Are Dental Implants Reliable and Safe?

Yes, this is a reliable and safe treatment method. The major complication that might occur – implant may not properly integrate with bone. According to statistics, from 3 up to 4 percent of all placed implants do not integrate for various reasons. But that is not a disaster because rejected implant is painless, moreover, it can be easily removed and a new implant can be placed within 2-3 months. Implants do not cause any side effects (allergy, cancer, etc.).

How Often Will I Have to Visit My Doctor After Implant Placement?

Your implant longevity and durability depends on your personal care and maintenance. Every 4 to 6 months you should visit your doctor for review and oral hygienist for professional teeth hygiene.

Is Implant Placement Painful?

No. You will feel no discomfort during this operation which is performed under local anaesthesia. You might feel mild pain right after the surgery, but prescribed drugs will certainly control it.

When Can I Return to Work After Implant Placement?

You can get back to work the very next day after the surgery.

What are the Benefits of Dental Implants?

Dental implants are valuable for:

  • Attractive smile
  • Self-confidence
  • Smart appearance
  • Better health
  • Expressive speech
  • Improved chewing function, ability to enjoy choosing meals
  • Convenience

Dental implants are an excellent investment. You will use this product 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks per year and hopefully for the rest of your life.