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Early loading of sandblasted, acid-etched implants in the posterior maxilla and mandible: a 1-year follow-up report from a multicenter 3-year prospective study... (click here)

Osseointegrated implant for single-tooth replacement: a retrospective multicenter study on routine use in private practice... (click here)

Dental implants: What are the advantages of a dental implant in comparison to conventional treatments?

The advantages are substantial:

(a) more secure support

a missing tooth must be replaced with a fixed tooth as soon as possible. The so called “bridge” is often a suitable solution, but when the teeth that need replacing are more than just one and other problems come into play, for example a reduced mastication efficiency, the dental bridge ends up being an unsuitable tool: as a matter of fact , since there is a lack of root support, the mastication capacity can not be restored and actually, when the patient chews and exerts all of the force on the dental bridge, the supporting teeth undergo a bio-mechanic overload. As compared to dental bridges, implants are able to efficiently compensate the lack of support provided by the roots, and restore mastication efficiency to a much greater degree.

A practical example: a patient having all of his teeth has a 100% mastication efficiency, but if the same patient were to lose all of his teeth and turn to the use of  a set of dentures (removable prosthesis) or a dental bridge, his mastication efficiency would only reach a maximum of 15- 18%. With a dental implant directly anchored to the bone and a fixed prosthesis, the patient would be able to recuperate up to 85% of his original mastication efficiency;

(b) bone re-absorption prevention

the link between the “teeth in action”and the honeycomb bone preservation is quite strong. If a person takes care his teeth and is not effected by any periododonthal pathology or systemic related disease (for example diabetes), the honeycomb bone does not undergo any damage from the  force it is subject to during mastication. But when there is tooth loss, the loss of direct force provokes an atrophy, that is a retraction, directly in the area in which teeth are greatly concentrated. In this case, while a dental bridge is able to provide only a limited load to the underlying bone and a partial or complete denture can provide even less, the implant directly transfers the mastication force to the surrounding bone and it keeps its volume intact if the crowns fixed on the implant have been regulated in order to ensure a proper mastication. Instead, when a patient has either waited too long or when both minor and major bone deficiency are present, implant indications remain unvaried: through modern surgical techniques it is currently possible to remedy bone deficiency in different ways, as illustrated in this section of the site.

(c) preservation of healthy teeth

an implant can offer advantages even in conditions regarding the loss of a single tooth: if the adjacent teeth are perfectly healthy and not filled, the patient has all the convenience of keeping them intact and turning to a single tooth implant, instead of sacrificing two healthy teeth to insert a bridge. Moreover, especially in the mid section of a  smile - the so called smile line, a single tooth implant ensures a much better long lasting aesthetic result.

last update: 21 January 2008

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