Oral Implantology

replacing teeth

Dental Implants are a medical device created to replace one or more missing teeth in a fixed way. They have been used for over 50 years and are a safe, predictable and long-lasting procedure.
They substitute the lost teeth allowing the re-establishing of oral function and visual appearance, restoring confidence, self-esteem and the possibility of smiling without complexes.
Dental implants are placed in the jawbone socket under sterile conditions using a local anesthesia in a surgical treatment, and are a simple, quick and painless surgical procedure. Once the implant has healed into the bone, a porcelain final crown is placed over.

Replacing a single tooth 

With dental implants you can replace a single missing tooth or even a complete dentition.
In the case of a single missing tooth, the implant is placed in the bone, to which it will remain "attached", and functions as a new (artificial) root. The implant itself is not visible with the naked eye because it will be inserted inside the jawbone structure, just like the roots of our natural teeth, which are also not visible.
A porcelain crown is then placed on the implant, similar to the artificial ceramic crowns that we place on our badly damaged natural teeth. This ceramic crown is the visible part of the dental implant.

Replacing all teeth

In the case of an irreversible damaged, lost or missing complete dentition, the implants placed in the bone do not act as artificial roots of the teeth, but in a similar way to the pillars of a building construction or a bridge.
That is, an implant is not placed for each missing tooth, but only 4 to 6 implants are placed, on which a bridge-like ceramic reinforced structure is fixed with a complete dentition of 12 to 14 teeth, similar to the photo above.


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How long do dental implants last?

Dental implants, just like our natural teeth, must be subject to regular daily oral hygiene, as well as maintenance appointments that can be yearly, half-yearly or even quarterly, depending on the circumstances. If properly maintained and cleaned, dental implants can last several decades.

What is All-on-4?

All-on-4 means placing a complete dentition with 14 teeth, in the form of a bridge, over 4 implants that function as pillars, to which it is attached.
The number of abutment implants that support a complete fixed porcelain dentition can vary from 4 to 6 implants, depending on the conditions and on the quality of the jawbone.

What types of dental implants are?

There are hundreds of brands of implants, but only two materials are used for: titanium and zirconia. Titanium is the most used material and represents around 99% of all the dental implants produced and used in dentistry.
There is no such thing as the best implant, but the most suitable or indicated implant for each case. The study and planning of your case are very important stages for the correct choice of the type of implant to be used in your treatment.

What are the stages of an implant treatment?

An implant treatment is normally performed in 3 steps:

  • The first stage corresponds to diagnosis and realization of a treatment plan and cost estimate. This stage is carried out during the first consultation, with a few exceptions, such as the need to carry out complementary radiological examinations.

  • The second stage corresponds to a minor surgery to place the implants in the jawbone, and the fixing of temporary teeth on the implants, if needed.
  • The third stage takes place 3 to 6 months after the second stage and corresponds to the fixing of the definitive fixed porcelain crowns on the implants.

Is it possible to place fixed teeth on the same day that the implants are placed? 

Yes, it is possible to place fixed teeth on the implants on the same day as the implant placement surgery. This procedure is called "immediate loading" and is carried out in cases in which the absence of the teeth compromises appearance, aesthetics and or function. 
These fixed teeth are temporary, and will be replaced by permanent porcelain crowns over implants approximately 3 to 6 months after the surgery. 

Who can and who cannot have implants done? 

Patients who have one or more missing teeth and who have the necessary bone availability to do so can have implants. Bone availability is measured by means of radiological exams (orthopantomography, CBCT, CT scan). 
Some patients, due to their health condition, may have contraindications for implant surgery or can have an increased risk of implant failures. These are: uncompensated diabetes, radiotherapy, psychiatric illnesses which prevent the patient from collaborating, among others.
However, these are not absolute contraindications and each case must be assessed together with the dentist, the patient and the specialist physician who follows the patient in these diseases. 

Can implants be rejected? 

The body does not reject dental implants, since they are made of a specific material (titanium or zirconia) that the body does not identify as strange. However, dental implants can fail to fix to the bone, either in the period immediately after they are placed, or in the long term. Such failures are rare and are usually associated with a set of well identified factors: poor initial planning, post-surgical infection or complications, chronic infection of the tissues around the implants (known as peri-implantitis), smoking, poor oral hygiene and incorrect implant maintenance. 

Getting dental implants or bridges over teeth? 

Both treatments are possible and durable fixed solutions for replacing missing teeth. However, there are advantages and disadvantages to each of them. Fixed bridges over teeth: this is a quicker treatment, does not involve surgery, but involves wearing down the teeth adjacent to the missing tooth to make the bridge. Dental implants: involves minor surgery to place the implants into the bone, but does not involve the wearing down of adjacent healthy teeth. 

Is it possible to have implants done under general anesthesia? 

Yes, at CUF Descobertas Hospital it is possible to carry out surgery to place dental implants under general anesthesia in complete comfort. General anesthesia is an excellent alternative for placing implants in patients who are afraid or phobia of dental medicine consultations. 

Is it possible to pay for implant treatment on finance? 

We make sure that our treatments are available to all, so we work together with a Finance institution to provide affordable loan services with low interest. Finance would be a great option for people with less disposable income or would rather work the costs of repayment into their monthly bills. 

Living abroad, is it possible to carry out the various stages of an implant treatment in one trip? 

A significant amount of our patients live abroad. It is possible to organise your appointment so that you can complete the first and second stages of dental implant treatment in a single visit. The third stage of treatment - the placement of permanent fixed porcelain crowns - as it requires a waiting period of 3 to 6 months after the placement of the implants, must be carried out on a second visit. Both trips involve a stay of approximately one week to 15 days.

Is it possible to place bone for a treatment with dental implants? 

Yes, in the case of severe bone insufficiency, which makes it impossible to place dental implants, there are some alternatives: performing a bone graft prior to placing the implants, or performing zygomatic implants, which are implants that are fixed in the bone that exists above the upper jaw, among other alternatives. 

How should dental implant treatments be maintained? 

Fixed treatments with dental implants should be maintained with daily oral hygiene very similar to the oral hygiene of natural teeth, but with slight modifications that are explained during the consultation. In addition, an annual check-up with the dentist and an annual, six-monthly or quarterly check-up with the oral hygienist should be carried out.