FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions on implantation terms

01. What do implants cost?

Here, a global answer is hardly possible. The costs of an implantation strongly depend on the number and quality of the implants on the one hand and the accompanying measures concerning the jaw bone on the other hand. Also the shape as well as the quality of the dentures placed on the implants has a considerable influence. Non-binding and roughly estimated, 1200,- to 1400,- Euro for each implant is average. The dental crown on top of the implant should be estimated at about 1200,- Euro. Extensive measures to build-up the jaw bone have not been taken into account. In case several implants are inserted simultaneously, often costs for the single implant will decrease.

02. Which materials do implants consist of?

The vast majority of implants consists of titanium or respectively of a titanium alloy. Titanium is a biocompatible material which among others is also used with artificial hip joints. Titanium also has the quality to adjoin itself narrowly with the bone cells. Thus the implant becomes extremely solid. For some time, also implants made of zirconium oxide-ceramics have been available. Nevertheless complication rates seem to be higher with these kinds of implants. Until meaningful study results and reliable long-term results are available, we are critical of the application of ceramic implants and regard them as suitable only in individual cases.

03. Could my body reject the implant?

Principally yes, however such an event is very rare. A pronounced incompatibilities with implants within the meaning of allergy is an exception. In the majority of cases an inflammation caused by bacteria is the reason of a possible implant-loss. Also a grave dysfunction of the bone metabolism may hamper the engraftment of an implant.

04. Are there alternatives in case of incompatible materials?

Due to the increasing number of patients who suffer from allergies, in some rare cases incompabilities of the material titanium may occur. The vast majority of implants are traditionally made of titanium as this material has proved to be successful for decades. Should you have a suspicion concerning an incompatibility towards titanium? It still isn´t any reason for you to go without implantation.

There has been intensive research in the fields of ceramics in recent years because allergies towards ceramics are very rare. Zirconium dioxide has proved to be successful for the production of dental implants. This material is biologically particularly well-tolerated and virtually without any foreign body reaction. Even without an incompability being present – ceramic implants are suited outstandingly well for the front tooth area from an aesthetic point of view. The white colour of the implant makes even the gingival marvelously natural-looking.

Please find further information about ceramic implants here: www.zeramex.com

05. How long will an implant last?

Can an implant “last a lifetime”? An implant lasts as long as the surrounding bone stays solid. We don´t intend to induce our patients to implantological treatments with cheap promises. Principally, you may assume that the implant itself – also referred to as the corpus – of the implant is almost imperishable. If an implant is lost, usually the jaw bone surrounding the implant has eroded. This can have manifold causes: Nicotine consumption, hormonal changes, but most of all bacterial inflammations may have a negative effect on the bone metabolism around the implant and bring about proceeding bone resorption.

06. Is it possible to implant with periodontitis?

Yes, but only after the periodontal treatment. Along with a periodontitis goes an increased bacterial strain in the mouth. Due to this increased number of germs, an infection of the tissue surrounding the implant may happen in some circumstances. Therefore it is important to carry out a periodontal treatment prior to an implantation when necessary. It is equally important for implant patients to undergo regular prophylaxis.

07. Is my jaw bone sufficiently dimensioned for an implant?

This question is always and only answerable following an individual and thorough examination. In many cases the jaw bone has faded heavily due to long-lasting adontia (absence of teeth). Inflammations (periodontitis) also destroy the jaw bone. Depending on the degree of the bone loss, a decision has to be taken whether a build-up of the bone is necessary or whether special implants shall be deployed which are especially suited for a small jaw bone (see BOI-implants).

08. Am I not too old for implants?

As a general rule: You are never too old for an implantation. Experience has proved that the jaw bone is still capable of integrating implants sturdily even in old age. Merely the healing time sometimes lasts a few weeks longer. The difficulty with older patients usually does not involve advanced age in principle, but is in fact the result of a sometimes heavily faded jaw bone. This circumstance will be taken into account by using age-appropriate implant-concepts and the choice of the type of implant.

09. Are there differences in the quality of implants?

Yes, substantial ones: Both in terms of the structure of the material, the material´s surface and the warranty. Meanwhile an almost uncountable number of implant-systems exist. Some producers try to get attention by offering extra low prices. These types of implants often lack meaningful long-term studies to prove their durability. Furthermore, there is the danger with less prestigious manufacturers that parts needed for the structure and joints will not be available any more in a few years´ time.

10. May I have implants inserted although I suffer from osteoporosis?

It depends on the severity of the disease, especially though on therapy of osteoporosis. Principally, a promising implantation in case of osteoporosis is possible. Experience shows that the jaw bone is less or hardly effected by this disease of the bone metabolism. Sometimes patients receive so called bisphosphonates in the course of the osteoporosis- or tumour therapy. Especially if these are administered via an infusion caution has to be urged. In case you are suspicious about being treated with medicaments containing bisphosphonates, please point it out to your dentist explicitly. A consultation with the general practitioner or the gynaecologist will provide a clarification of the individual risks.

11. I have lost a tooth. How long should I wait before having an implant?

Preferably no time at all! Experience teaches that a varyingly strong loss of bone occurs in the months following the extraction of one or several teeth. That is why the implantation should be carried out after an initial healing-period to stop the advancing bone loss. Hesitating too long or taking a decision in favour of an implantation not until a few years later usually makes additional measures concerning treatment and costs necessary.

12. Are implantations painful?

Not during the implantation itself. The pains during the healing time are usually not stronger than those which have to be endured following an extraction. By the use of local anaesthesia, pain can almost entirely be eliminated. A general anaesthetic is an option at extensive interventions. Based on experience, far less afflictions are to be registered after an implantation than expected by our patients. The intensive care in our clinic shall and can avoid complications as far as possible.

13. May I have an implant immediately after an extraction?

Sometimes yes, especially when the jaw bone surrounding the tooth to be extracted is still widely in good order. In this case, it may even be favourable to carry out an immediate implantation.The aesthetic performance – especially in the area of the gingival – will often be positively affected. On the contrary, an immediate implantation during an acute inflammation or in case of an extensive bone rebuild is rather unadvisable.

14. May I have fixed dentures on my implants immediately?

It depends on the kind of implantation the number of implants and the quality of the jaw bone. The so-called immediate loading of dental implants is possible every time the conditions of the jaw bone are very stable and an implant with sufficient dimensions has been inserted successfully. Also the patients´ chewing manners and the state of the remaining teeth have to be taken into account.

15. Which material can be used for the build-up of the bone?

Principally, materials on an artificial, faunal and human basis (bone grafts) will be used for the bone rebuild (augmentation). They are produced with extraordinary diligence to avoid infections of any kind. So the usage of these bone build-up compositions can be described as pronouncedly safe. The biological validity and with it the extent and the velocity of the bone build-up are quite different. The patients´ own bone material has proven to be the best basis for a successful bone build-up so far. This will be extracted gently from the jaw bone at diverse locations and transplanted into the area of the future implantation.

16. How long will I be unfit for work after an implantation?

It depends on the dimension of the implantological treatment. After the inserting of a single implant you will often be fit for work the next day or the day following. After extensive interventions with measures to build up the bone the regeneration may take up several days. However, patients individually respond in different ways. This may have a number of causes, for example the constitution of the connective tissue. In extremely rarely cases an in-patient stay is advisable for an optimal healing process.

17. What happens if an implant breaks loose?

Even if you once have problems with your implants it is not an irretrievable loss. The most common reason for a loss of an implant are the bone atrophy along with metabolism problems, inflammations caused by bacteria (peri-implantitis) or the inappropriate inserting of an implant. As long as the implant is still firmly fixed in the jaw there are different therapeutic options which can avert a loss or at least decelerate it. We primarily pursue the target to bring about an inflammation-free status through improved hygienic requirements. Special powder blasting devices and lasers as well as bone-building compounds are being used. Provided that these measures do not lead to a positive result within a short period of time, the excision of the infected or loose implant is inevitable. Thanks to the option of a re-implantation, this is not yet the ultimate status. After a short healing time the lost jaw bone is being augmented within the scope of the bone build-up and then a new implant can be inserted. So the re-implantation opens a chance to get solid teeth for a lifetime, even after a loss of an implant.

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