Home & Lifestyle Magazine Issue 27

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Dental Implants


Dr. Martha Laguilavo, of Dental Care in Laguna Village (Estepona), explains the advantages of dental implants

An implant is an artificial tooth root that is placed into the jawbone to hold a replacement tooth or bridge securely in place. It can be used in a variety of situations, whether you need to replace a single missing tooth or several teeth. This can be caused by an accident or dental decay and/ or inflammation of the gums and surrounding tissue. The jawbone will shrink over time with dentures, leaving little support and causing the dentures to become loose; whereas implants are not only used to secure single teeth but can also replace a full denture, or as anchor points securely attach a partial denture or bridge. In all these cases, the patient will be able to eat, talk and laugh just like before – but with more confidence. Tissue-Friendly Material Implants are made of titanium and look like little “screws”. Their diameter varies from 3.3 to 4.8 millimetres and they are between six and 16 millimetres long – about the same size as a natural dental root. A so-called tissue-friendly material, titanium is the most appropriate metal for the construction of implants. It is used frequently in modern medicine (for bone fracture plates, artificial joints and pacemakers, for example), and is completely accepted by the human body. In other words, the body does not reject the strange material. Dentistry has always tried to replace lost teeth as naturally as possible. Within our mouths, nature developed a perfect chewing system that can never be completely replaced by artificial means. However, an implant in the jaw as a pillar for tooth replacement is the closest you can get to a natural dental root. Implants can be used – for both young and older people – if you have good general health and keep your mouth nicely clean, and if the jaw is suited for it. It is not possible to use an implant when the jawbone has shrunk to such a degree that it is too small and/or low to place an implant. In these cases


additional techniques are needed to allow the application of an implant. Implantation may also not be a good idea for patients who use certain medication, who smoke a lot or who are not able to keep their natural teeth in good condition. Long-Term Health The procedure is completed in five phases: examination, both medical and dental; implantation, a small surgical operation, usually taking place with local anaesthetic and lasting between 30 and 90 minutes (depending on the number of implants); growing in, taking from six weeks to three months for the implants to grow into the jaw; placement of the implant structure (after the growing in period); and after-care – good mouth hygiene and regular check-ups (every three to six months). Implants will still function perfectly after decades, if properly taken care of. In addition to providing a healthy and beautiful smile, and allowing your face to retain its natural shape, as an alternative to bridgework, implants also eliminate the need to grind down healthy teeth when replacing one or more adjacent teeth. Dental implants are more comfortable than dentures because they are securely anchored – with no slipping or movement. With dental implants, you will never need to cover your mouth when laughing, smiling, or speaking. You can eat your favourite foods without pain or fear of embarrassment – and taste every bite. You will look better, feel better, and live more confidently. Dental Care C.C. Laguna Village (Estepona) Tel. 952 936 552 info@dentalcaremarbella.com www.dentalcaremarbella.com

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