For Patients

A smile can change the world

A smile can express many feelings and can sometimes offer a view into a person’s soul. A smile stands for happiness, openness and friendliness and makes it easier to establish communication. And it can open many doors both professionally and privately. Beautiful teeth also contribute to making a positive impression and are a central criterion of aesthetic perception.

However, the loss of a tooth or even several teeth is almost inevitable during the course of a lifetime – and is often associated with an impairment of quality of life. Especially when dental care has been unsatisfactory. Because dentures can affect the sense of taste and, at worst, can even lead to mental ill health. But now, in many situations, anyone wishing for firm and beautiful teeth will find an ideal alternative in dental implants

What is a dental implant?

Modern dental implants are a fully equivalent replacement for natural teeth. The implant assumes the function of a tooth root and forms the abutment for the dental prosthesis. It is anchored invisibly, permanently and securely in the jaw. Dental implants can be used to replace single teeth, but also to close larger gaps in the teeth attractively and comfortably. The possibilities offered by modern implantology allow removable dentures to be removed in many cases. Pure titanium has proved the material of first choice for dental implants, as it is highly compatible with body tissues and causes no known allergies.

What benefits do dental implants offer?

Crowns and bridges supported by dental implants can hardly be distinguished from natural teeth. Moreover, with dental implants it is not necessary to grind down the adjacent teeth, which is often necessary with conventional dentures. Dental implants also prevent the much feared bone loss (jaw atrophy) resulting from the unphysiological compressive loading associated with dentures. Implants preserve bone and soft tissues and thereby counteract the formation of wrinkles caused by bone loss.

Dental implants also offer medium and long term economic advantages, since the modular-style constructions can be extended or altered at any time. With several implants, moreover, some services are needed only once – reducing both time and costs.

Who are dental implants for?

For all patients affected by loss of teeth, implants are a high-quality alternative to conventional dental solutions. Implantation is possible as soon as growth is complete – and on into advanced age. Previous diseases or medication use are now hardly an obstacle any more: In almost all cases, successful and safe treatment can be realised through close cooperation between dental technicians and medical specialists. To rule out potential risks, you should seek comprehensive advice and information at the beginning of implant treatment.

Are there limitations for dental implants?

Today, almost every patient can be fitted with implants. Based on many years of experience and clinically proven treatments, dental implants are subject to only few restrictions even up to advanced age – and your occupational and private life is hardly impacted during the treatment period. As with every medical intervention, treatment is preceded by a thorough preliminary examination. For example, your dentist will include previous diseases, malocclusions of the teeth and disorders of the mouth and jaw or use of medications in his analysis as a basis for designing an individualised, safe, pain-free and rapid treatment approach. Multiple implants and bone augmentation procedures can now be managed in the outpatient setting and sometimes completed in just a single session.

How is an implantation done?

In an implantation procedure, an artificial tooth root (implant) is anchored in the bone under anaesthesia and later supports the actual dental prosthesis. In this surgical intervention, a dentist prepares an accurately dimensioned “implant bed” in which the implant is inserted. The gum is then sutured over it or the implant is fitted directly with a dental prosthesis. Usually, the sutures are removed after ten days, after which the implant has to be left to heal undisturbed in the bone. During this healing phase of several weeks, naturally you are not toothless but receive a temporary denture, for example attached to the adjacent teeth. The average healing time in the upper jaw is about five, in the lower jaw about three months. The exact duration depends on the bone quality. After the implants have healed, an impression is taken and the individualised dental prostheses are prepared by a dental technician.

How long will I be out of action?

Most patients already return to their normal everyday activities on the day after implantation. Always in consultation with your dentist, you can already resume sports or engage in physically strenuous activities after a short resting phase of about seven days.

Can scaredy-cats get implants too?

Absolutely. A certain amount of anxiety is completely normal before a surgical procedure, but is really unfounded. Thanks to various anaesthetic options, modern dentistry enables painless and stress-free operations. These range from local anaesthesia, through analgesic sedation anaesthesia to general anaesthesia. Before the procedure, your dentist will discuss with you in detail and choose the treatment method most suitable for you. So just be completely relaxed.

What do dental implants cost?

Implantations are as individual as the patients themselves. The costs of treatment therefore vary from one patient to the next, depend on the dental services provided and not least on the choice of materials. Bone augmentation procedures, if performed, also influence the overall price. The German consumer organisation Stiftung Warentest concluded in 12/2008 that the approximate cost of replacing a tooth (without bone augmentation) is currently about 2,000 Euros. After a preliminary consultation and a thorough examination, your dentist will present you with a clearly itemised treatment and cost plan showing the total costs. Ask your health insurer about the possibility of cost sharing (statutory health insurance organisations also grant fixed allowances for standard care).

Considered over the long term, implants are not only the most favourable, but also the most sustained-value, comfortable and natural form of treatment. Bone loss is reduced, no grinding of additional teeth is necessary and in many cases a fixed restoration can be used instead of removable partial dentures. Furthermore, you save yourself trouble and annoyance resulting from cheaper alternatives and follow-up treatments. And the sooner you decide in favour of an implantation, the cheaper the treatment will be because you can prevent possible bone loss.

How long do dental implants last for?

Implants are an investment for life in every respect. With regular clinical check-ups and appropriate care, they can be a lifelong source of satisfaction and ensure sustained quality of life.

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