Firmly anchored: dental implants

A smile with healthy, beautiful teeth has long since become a calling card. All the possibilities of modern dental medicine are being used to achieve this. First and foremost, dental implants.

Even teeth get older. Wear and tear, but also caries, inflammation or minor accidents take their toll on the teeth. Fortunately, modern dentistry offers solutions for every smile. For tooth replacement, implants are now considered the ideal solution. They have a very high success rate and offer the best protection for the jawbone, which can otherwise degrade over time if there are gaps between the teeth.

Satisfaction with the method is indeed remarkable: according to the German Society for Implantology, 90 percent of patients surveyed by the society would recommend the operation to others or undergo it again themselves.

Dental implants – this is how the treatment works

During the procedure, under local anesthesia, a so-called bed is prepared in the jaw for the artificial root, where the implant will later fuse with the tissue. “The procedure itself usually takes only 30 to 40 minutes; the healing phase varies from patient to patient and can last several months. During this time, a temporary denture is anchored,” explains dental specialist with a practice in Mainz, Dr. Christopher Köttgen.

Reconstruction of the jaw bone is another area of implantology. “If the bone mass is not sufficient, it is rebuilt,” explains Dr. Köttgen. “If a tooth is missing, the underlying bone quickly recedes because of the lack of traction. With the help of so-called tissue engineering, a remedy can now be found,” Dr. Köttgen continues.

Three-dimensional planning

Precise advance planning is essential for the success of an implantation. For this reason, the dental practice in Mainz has been using three-dimensional diagnostics by DVT (digital volume tomograph) for several years. This procedure enables perfect planning and can even help to avoid bone augmentation.

“Today, we assume that implants can last a lifetime,” explains Dr. Köttgen. However, artificial roots should only be placed by true specialists. Dr. Köttgen is a specialist in implantology with an activity focus of the German Society of Implantology and is supported by two other experts: His wife Ina Köttgen and the endodontics specialist Dr. Florian Deckers.

What patients with dental implants should bear in mind

To ensure a dental implant lasts a long time, thorough dental care is key. Experts say that toothbrushing alone is not enough. “In addition, you should use dental floss and/or interdental brushes to remove plaque from hard-to-reach areas. There are special products for implant wearers. Also, go for regular checkups and have your teeth professionally cleaned,” explains Dr. Köttgen. Those who suffer from diabetes should make sure they keep their blood sugar under control. Otherwise, diabetes could negatively affect the durability of the implant.