Immediate loading dental implants are those where a dental prosthesis is fixed at the same time the dental implants are installed.
What are dental implants?
Dental implants are titanium devices that are placed in the maxilla and/or mandible to replace the roots of lost teeth. These implants will hold a dental prosthesis in place.
Treatment with dental implants consists of two parts. Firstly, dental surgery is required: in a small operation, the maxillofacial surgeon installs titanium fixings inside the bone. After the operation, a natural biological process called osseointegration begins, where the dental implant and the surrounding bone form a direct structural and functional bond (i.e. they fuse together). The second part of the process is then to add the dental implants. In the early years of modern implantology, with this concept in mind, it was established that patients should wait between three and six months between the installation of the implants and the prosthesis. After this waiting time, the crown is placed on the implant already fixed in the maxillary bone. These traditional protocols have undergone modifications in recent years, with the aim of shortening the period of osseointegration.
Immediate Loading dental implants
The immediate loading of the dental implants can be performed to restore the aesthetic appearance of the patient’s teeth and their ability to function in a little more than four hours. In general, this procedure is performed with intravenous sedation, which allows the patient to be relaxed and comfortable as well as enabling a good recovery.
Firstly, the teeth are extracted. Secondly, the remaining bone where the dental implants are to be placed is remodelled. It is important to get a uniform bone platform. Thirdly, the dental implants are installed in the maxillary bone or the jaw (between six and eight according to the patient) and these will serve as the anchorage for the dental prosthesis.
In the last stage of the procedure, the dental prosthesis is fixed on the implants. This fixed prosthesis has already been made, and during the operation only needs minor adjustments.
With this dental surgery technique, the patient leaves the consultation with a new smile. The patient will wear this provisional prosthesis for approximately three months, during which time permanent prosthesis will be made and installed.
Patients who are candidates for immediate loading dental implants
Immediate loading dental implants are not a universal procedure. It is necessary for the patient to meet a number of conditions for the treatment to be viable and successful:
- Healthy patient without pre-existing conditions
- Patient with good habits of oral hygiene, and who understands the technique being applied
- Maxillary bone with adequate bone volume
- Sufficient bone quality
- Absence of bone diseases
- No history of bruxism (excessive teeth-grinding)
In addition it is essential to have:
- An implant that has adequate morphology and surface area
- A surgeon who knows and performs the technique in the right way and with the least damage to the tissues.
- An expert odontologist in implant-supported prosthesis
- A laboratory technician with experience in immediate loading.
Why immediate loading dental implants?
A patient receiving dental surgery with immediate loading dental implants will find their teeth functional and aesthetically pleasing in a few hours, and can resume normal activity soon after. In addition, as there is no period with teeth missing, there are no image problems or self-esteem related to edentulism (missing teeth).