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Dental implants are artificial roots implanted in the bone to support fixed prostheses.
The process that determines the integration of dental implants with bone is called osseointegration. The term was coined at the end of the 1960s, by the man who was the first to test the technique, Professor Branemark of the Institute of Applied Biotechnologies in Goteborg.
The osseointegration process, intended to ensure a complete and lasting integration of the dental implant with the bone, requires the use of endosseous titanium screw implants. These are loaded with prostheses after 3-4 months in the mandible or 5-6 months in the maxilla. All other methods may not ensure a complete osseointegration, with the formation of more extended fibrous areas around the implants. This condition exposes the implant to peri-implantitis and consequently to the loss of the implants.
So, to increase the chances of a successful osseointegration, it is best not to load the prosthesis immediately (single crowns, bridges, full arches) but wait for a period between 3 and 6 months. This gives the implants the chance to integrate with the bone without being subjected to the stress of occlusal loading.
It must be said that dental implantology has had great modernization over the years, many things have changed since Professor Branemak introduced the concept of osseointegration. Today the possibility of replacing missing teeth in one session is acceptable.
This technique is called “immediate loading”. In this type of operation prostheses are loaded immediately after the insertion of the implants. This technique is today used and scientifically supported but it does present risks.
According to a study by the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery of Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, immediate loading increases the chances of failure by 27% compared to traditional implantology (aka delayed loading) one year from the operation (Delayed versus immediate loading of implants: survivor analysis and risk factors for dental implant failure, Susarla SM, Chuang SK, Dodson TB, J. Oral Maxillofac Surg, 2008, feb, 66(2):251-5).
Maybe, to increase the chances of success in implants it is best to wait for them to be stabilized before restoring dental function, don’t you agree?
In IMI we prefer to give the patient’s bone the biologically necessary time to integrate perfectly with the implant. This prevents the risk of compromising the process by immediate loading.
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