Implants are usually titanium or ceramic screws that function as a tooth root. After the implant has integrated with the bone (healed) an abutment is placed over the top of the implant. It is the abutment which connects the implant to the prosthesis. The prosthesis can be a crown, a bridge or full dentures. It is not always necessary to have one implant for each tooth you need.
Implants have been used safely for decades and there are many excellent brands available. The more expensive ones reflect the amount spent on both research and marketing, not necessarily the quality of the implant itself.
The procedure is quick, does not involve a great deal of pain and is incredibly common in Hungary. Due to the vast difference in cost between the UK and Hungary, Hungarian dental surgeons have gained a huge amount of experience and are typically considerably more skilled in placing implants than the average dentist in the UK.
Typical Uses for Dental Implants
- Replacement of a single tooth without damaging the surrounding teeth
- Supporting a bridge which is replacing a gap where multiple teeth are missing
- Stabilising a full denture, e.g. the all-on-4 system and similar.
Interested in Dental Implants?We have very few nerves in the jaw so the procedure is not as painful as you might think. Any pain is easily controlled through local anesthesia and pain killers. The procedure takes about 20 minutes per implant.
How it Works
1. Planning and thorough cleaning of the whole mouth in preparation for surgery.
2. The implants are placed in the bone by the dental surgeon. This takes one or two days.
3. The implants need time to integrate with the bone – this will take several months.
4. The permanent prosthetics are custom made and bonded to the implants (typical visit is one week for this stage).
Different Brands of Implant
I’ve heard that brand X of implant is best (e.g. Straumann, Nobel Biocare, BioHorizons) – I would like to have these.
We hear this a lot, but its not very helpful. Depending on your own situation, it might be like saying that you like Ferrari as a brand of car and that you would like to have one to take the family on a hiking holiday with the dog. The implants have to be fit for purpose and not all implants are right for all purposes. By far the most important factor in predicting success with implants is the skill of the surgeon and not the brand of the implant.
All implants used in Europe have to comply with the same standards, so they are all excellent quality. However, different manufacturers make implants for various clinical situations. For example you may need a very slim one to fit between a gap between the front teeth. A short and fat implant may be needed for bone near the sinus. The dentist will look at the Xray and CT scan and then decide which manufacturer makes the implant which is the best for your particular clinical situation.
The brand of implant used also depends on the one the dentist has most experience with and has invested in. Each brand will use a different screwdriver and torque wrench and these are not interchangeable with other brands. It’s a small but significant point, much in the same way that you can’t charge your IPhone with a Samsung charger.
If you are travelling abroad for your initial treatment do ensure that you get a brand where the replacement parts are available in your country of origin. Similarly if you are travelling abroad for work on an existing implant ensure that the parts are available at the clinic you have chosen. Some American clients have Zimmer implants and many Hungarian dentists will have to order those parts in, so will need a little time to do this.
Most implants are titanium, though the titanium is grade 5 which means that there will be some impurities but are still biocompatible. They will all integrate with bone and they all have the same propensity for infection. Only 1% of the population is allergic to titanium. Some implants are made of other materials, for example a mix of zirconium and titanium or even pure ceramic – you should discuss these options with your dentist if you have any concerns about allergic reactions.
Ultimately the success of an implant is dependent on the expertise of the dentist and the his/her ability to plan exactly where to position them using a CT Scan. All of the dentists recommended by Hungarian Dental Travel place around 100 implants a month due to the large numbers of patients coming specifically for this treatment.
Can everyone have implants?
Implants are suitable for most adult patients however smokers who continue to smoke, heavy drinkers and diabetics who cannot control their blood sugar during the period of osseointegration may have an increased healing time and probability of infection and implant failure. It is important to have an honest conversation with your dentist if any of these apply to you.
People need to have a certain amount of bone for the implant to be screwed into. The dentist will not be able to comment – let alone price – your treatment until he/she has seen at the very least a small X ray. If the implants needed are in several areas around the mouth then an OPG (panoramic X ray) will be needed. It is best, however, to send a CT scan.
CT scans are quite expensive in the UK sometimes as much as £150 per jaw so many people opt to go to Hungary, where the price is considerably cheaper, for their initial consultation. This isn’t as extravagant as it may seem as if you need a bone graft before implants can be placed then this can be done at the end of the consultation. For more information on bone grafts click here. It can take around 6-8 months for your natural bone to grow to the thickness that is needed for an implant so you will need to wait this long to have your implants.
For people who do not want to wait it may be possible, in certain circumstances, to have immediate load implants, sometimes called basal or cortical implants because they are put into the bone below your jaw bone.
The basal bone is more dense than alveolar bone, which is where the teeth normally sit, and is less prone to resorption and infection. The basal bone is highly mineralised and has a high rate of regeneration which allows for much faster osseointegration with the implant. The act of chewing stimulates the bone to regenerate.
Basal implants look quite different from standard implants being made of a single piece of titanium alloy. They are quite large and can only be used where there is a minimum of three consecutive teeth missing.
The advantages of basal implants
- Immediate loading, the prosthesis can be fitted within 72 hours
- No need to wait for any bone grafts/augmentation
- High success rate, 98%
- Minimally invasive procedure
- Can be used in patients with periodontitis, diabetics and smokers.
- Low infection rate due to basal implants being a monolithic structure. In regular implants infection can occur around the connections between the different pieces.
- Lower cost
- Can be used with a single crown, bridge or denture
- Last for life
A study from 2016 found that there had been a large and consistent increase in the number of published clinical studies concerning immediate loading of dental implants. There seems little doubt that this time-saving procedure will become more common over time as technology and experience of this technique improves.
Treatments before Implants
In addition to bone augmentation, further treatments are sometimes required before implants can be placed with a high chance of success.
If you need implants in your upper jaw ( Maxilla) and you don’t have enough bone in your sinus this will need to be filled in a procedure called a sinus lift. You can sometimes tell that you have lost bone in this area if you have hollows in your cheeks. A sinus lift can restore volume to your face giving it a more youthful appearance. You can read more about sinus lifts here.
If you need some extractions it is best to get these done when you come to Hungary rather than beforehand. This is because as soon as you lose a tooth the bone starts to become reabsorbed and you may end up with not enough bone for the implant. However this is not always possible it depends on why the tooth needed extracting. The dentist may be able to tell this from an X ray or CT scan and will then confirm this through physical examination.
|Possible Treatment before implants||Healing period required|
|Tooth Extraction||Often the implant can be placed immediately, but it is possible that several weeks may be required for the bone to heal sufficiently in some cases.|
|Bone Augmentation||The healing period varies greatly depending on the size of the bone graft, whether the material was harvested from the patient’s own body or is artificial, the condition of the existing bone, and other factors. Most dentists estimate four to six months, but there has been no randomized controlled study of this and some dental surgeons will be more conservative than others. The bone in your upper jaw is softer and takes longer than the bone in your lower jaw which is denser and recovers faster. If you you have thin bone, have had a lot of treatment or you have other chronic conditions then it may take up to 8 months.|
|Sinus Lift||Typically the advice is to wait for eight months or more after a sinus lift before implantation.|
Before having implants it is crucial to follow a strict hygiene routine and have a healthy mouth. This is because if you have gum disease (periodontal disease), even low grade gum disease the dentist may not put in the implants. Placing implants while you have gum disease raises the possibility that this infection will be introduced onto the implant. If you do have any infection the dentist will first have to use a laser to treat the periodontitis at around 35 EUR per tooth.
If you are considering implants you have probably lost some teeth and it is important to understand why the teeth have been lost. Periodontitis also causes bone loss and this could by why your teeth came out or needed to be extracted. If you have a history of gum disease check with your local dentist whether you have gum disease before making the trip abroad. Signs of periodontitis include bleeding gums, bad breath and loose teeth.
Important Guidelines for after implantation:
- If you have been given antibiotics be sure to complete the course.
- Do not drink any hot drinks for the first day.
- Do not eat anything until the anesthetic has worn off.
- Avoid disturbing the site with your tongue or swilling liquid around the inside of your mouth.
- If you have been given a denture wear this as little as possible until the implant has healed.
- You should not be in much pain after the anaesthetic wears off but if you have minor discomfort take your usual painkillers that you would use for aches and pain so ibuprofen or paracetamol ( acetominophen).
- Gargle with salt water regularly to keep the area clean.
- You will most probably have swelling for up to three days later. You can put an ice pack on the area to help reduce this.
- Rinse your mouth out after eating.
- You can continue to brush your other teeth on the evening of the surgery.
- Refrain from hard food such as apples and nuts for the first three months.
- Do not smoke for 3 months.
Signs that something is wrong
It is completely normal for the area to bleed for a couple of days and this can be reduced by applying light pressure with a gauze pad. Excessive bleeding 2 days after surgery is not normal and you should contact your dentist immediately.
Swelling and inflammation of the gum around the implant is the first sign of infection. You are advised to go to a dentist immediately for the area to be cleaned and a course of antibiotics given. Inflammation is serious as it can lead to bone loss causing the implant to become loose and fall out. This is more common in people with bruxism ( teeth grinding) heavy smokers, drinkers and diabetics.
Hungarian Dental Travel has been helping patients find the best possible treatment in Hungary since 2004. Now part of Hand Picked Clinics, we are expanding our country coverage with the aim of helping more people from all over the globe.
We can introduce you to some of the best dental clinics in Hungary (and beyond). We know the ins and outs of travelling abroad for treatment. We are not tied to one clinic and we are not dentists, just normal humans.
Every treatment plan is as individual as you are. You will get world class treatment at an affordable price. Our dentists are skilled at designing solutions that both save you money and focus on your long term oral health.
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