How to chose an implant: the general indications
When one decides to replace a missing tooth
with an implant he must also chose among the various
surgical procedures and the different kinds of dental
implants. Thus, it is necessary to spread some light
on the new techniques available.
To begin with, one must know that dental
implants have been manufactured in different materials.
Metals such as steel, gold alloys, different kinds of
titanium and ceramics. Today the first rate material is titanium.
According to various studies, titanium
is the most accepted by the organism. It
establishes a strong and stable link with bone and gum
Instead, there are different shapes available
for the new roots. Historically, small needles,
grates, plates, screws and cylinders were employed.
Currently the most used shape is definitely the screw. Various
calibres are available, ranging from 3 to 6 mm, and
different lengths, ranging from 6 to 20 mm,
according to the bone available and to the width of the
tooth that needs replacement. Various researchers maintain
that the longer the new titanium root, the more stable it
will be, and capable of supporting masticatory loads.
Others instead, show that the results are identical once
the 12 mm of length have been reached: the same implant
success, the same absence of complications. The surgeon,
after a thorough exam of the patient, must propose his
Smooth or rough?
In any case, the external wall of the dental
implant comes into contact with the bone and interacts
with it. Implants with both smooth and rough surfaces
are used. The latter mentioned is obtained by chemical
and physical treatments of the metal, or by ceramic
coating. As a matter of fact, a coarse surface interacts
better with the bone, it wedges in with more strength thus
facilitating implant fixation. However beware. The rough
surface presents certain counter-indications. Due to its
coarse surface it better collects bacteria thus making it
more difficult to clean it and avoid infections. Thus
the choice must consider both factors. Therefore, it
is best to trust the experience and advice of a qualified
last update: 21 January 2008