Frequently Asked Questions

Some important questions you might ask:

What is a dental implant?

An implant is an artificial tooth root similar to a screw. It is inserted in the jawbone when the patient’s own tooth, including the root, has been lost. The implant and the corresponding post generally consist of titanium, a metal characterized by very good biological tolerability and long stability.

How long do implants overlife?

Implants are very durable. They can be inside for a lifetime. In addition to the patient’s general health and the quality and quantity of jawbone, oral hygiene plays an important role. The long-term success rate of implants is more than 90 percent after 10 years.

What are the indications?

There are various prosthodontic methods for missing teeth: a permanent bridge, a removable denture, or implants. A combination of these methods is also possible. For instance implants can serve as an additional anchor for bridges or stabilize dentures. Here are some examples:

When a front tooth is missing appearance and pronunciation are particularly severely impaired. An implant is the optimal solution to this problem. The healthy neighboring teeth are – unlike in the case of a bridge – completely unaffected when a single tooth is implanted.

- When several teeth next to one another are missing implants can serve as an additional “pillar” for secure anchoring of the bridge. However, the replacement of each missing tooth with an implant-supported crown is close to the natural situation.
- Implants can also ensure perfect appearance and even loading of the jawbone in the toothless jaw. Dentures can be fixed in place by several implants.

When should I have implants?

Implant placement should take place as early as possible after tooth loss. Implants heal best when they are inserted 8-10 weeks after tooth extraction. Keep in mind that, without loading, 40-60 percent of the jaw will be lost during the first 2-4 years. And delayed reconstruction of bone is difficult and expensive.

How many implants should I have?

Implants, like natural tooth roots, transfer the forces generated while chewing to the jawbone. The more missing teeth can be replaced by implants, the better it is for the chewing function and the bone. Cost factors should play a minor role.

Can implants also be inserted if too little bone is available?

The jawbone does not always have enough volume to give the implant firm support. The causes of this are loss of teeth, bone loss or too little height of the jaw. In many cases bone can be built up by augmentation procedures, either with the patient’s own bone or with synthetic material that changes into bone.

What are the risks?

Dental Implant placement is a form of surgical intervention similar in extent to surgical tooth extraction. In certain cases there can be special individual risks for patients which must be discussed and/or treated before implants are placed. If an implant is lost it can be replaced by a new one in most cases.

What do I have to do as a patient?

Perfect oral hygiene is the most important prerequisite for long-term implant success. Particularly the transition area between the implant and the gums must be kept free from bacterial deposits and plaque. This often requires special cleaning techniques (dental floss, interdental brushes). Regular professional hygiene care is also indispensable.