There is a range of different Implant brands available at varying costs. None offer the patient an advantage over any of the others.
The variations that do exist are factors that your implant dentist will need to think about, when planning your operation. The chief deciding factor is likely to be the condition of your jaw bone: the depth and breath of bone available, the adjoining teeth etc.
Additionally, your implant surgeon's personal experience with a particular brand will play a large part in this decision; as will the availability of manufacturer's technical support that can be drawn on if there are difficulties.
Each implant system requires the dentist to invest in an expensive tool kit, which is not usually capable of being used with alternative implant brands. For this reason you are unlikely to find a dentist who can use all brands of implant.
When the causes of implant failures have been analysed implant brands have not been identified as a risk factor. The choice of implant surgeon however has.
The more important choice for the patient is therefore to select an implant surgeon who is not only appropriately qualified, but well established and experienced.
Selecting an Implant Surgeon
Once an individual has qualified as a regular dentist they may opt to attend a specialist course in implant dentistry. However, having successfully attended a course in Implantology does not mean they have expertise in this field.
Whilst many dentists are able to claim they are qualified to provide dental implant surgery most will set no more than about 1 or 2 implants each year. This level of activity is not really sufficient you develop the specialist skills and knowledge needed in all but the most straightforward of cases.
You should instead look for a dental surgeon who specialises in implant dentistry and who carries out the procedure several times each week.
You should also be wary of clinics where there is a single experienced Implantologist with several young junior associates. You should make sure that the experienced dentist will be the one actually operating on you.
Fixed crowns and bridgework or overdentures
Where you have lost most if not all of your teeth you may have the option of choosing between having an implant anchored overdenture or a fixed dental bridge.
Implant Anchored Overdenture
An implant anchored overdenture is similar to a normal denture, but it can be held securely in place by an attachment that is anchored to the jaw by two or four dental implants. The upper denture can be made with an open palate so that the taste sensation is not interfered with.
You will be able to chew far more effectively than with normal dentures. It can be fitted in far less time than a permanent bridge and will not cost as much. An overdenture will not however feel like natural teeth and will still need to be removed for cleaning.
As might be expected implant anchored overdentures are more expensive than ordinary dentures, but can cost significantly less than fixed permanent bridgework if you are contemplating a large scale restoration of your teeth.
Fixed Permanent Crowns and Bridgework
This is where a crown or dental bridge is permanently secured to implants set into your jaw. The new teeth cannot be removed and are cared for in the same way as natural teeth. There are no plates and nothing to spoil your enjoyment of food. You will be able to eat whatever you like and there is no possibility of loosing your teeth when you laugh, neither is your speech affected.
After some initial strangeness your new teeth will come to feel just like natural teeth - except of course that they are not affected by decay.
The beneficial effects of implants on your jaw bone will help reduce the possibility of bone wastage and help combat the signs of facial aging.
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