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What you should know about dental implants

The invention of dental implants a few decades ago was a huge development in dental care; with dental implants the possibilities to replace lost teeth was greatly extended. Patients for whom only plastic dentures were available earlier could and can have fixed crowns and bridges, which look and feel like natural teeth. With this improvement not only dental status but the quality of life in general gets significantly better. Let us add another remark here: most things that are done in the dental chair improve general health, digestion, the immune system and therefore the whole quality of life.

Still we often see that patients look frightened or even terrified when they hear the expression „implantation”, they expect something much worse than it actually is. One of our patients expressed the differences between the expectations and the actual experience saying that “if you expect the pain level to be 100, you will realize that it is only 5”.

After thousand of implant procedures carried out in our practice we would give you some further explanation about the process and our patients’ experiences:

Dental implants are used to replace the roots of missing teeth. They are inserted in the jawbone and are able to support different types of dental restorations: bridges, crowns or dentures. The dental implant looks like a tiny screw hold. Implants are mostly made of titanium – in our practice we only use titanium implants – because that is the only anti-allergic metal. Dental implants are produced in various lengths and diameters; the dentist chooses the most appropriate size for the given situation. The implants are inserted in the jawbone with a specially designed implant machine in the ideal angle and position.

The whole procedure – in case of one implant – takes not more than 15-20 minutes, and most of this time is needed for the preparations. In case the patient needs more than one implant, the ones in the same quadrant of the mouth are fitted together; in case they are in different areas of the mouth we mostly plan the procedure according to the patient’s preference.

The intervention is completed in the operating room in a sterilized environment in local anaesthesia. The anaesthetic material makes the gum and the bone numb; therefore the patient does not feel anything. Moreover the jawbone is not supplied with sensitive nerves therefore there is actually to chance for real pain. Only a few seconds of unpleasant feeling may occur when the implants are screwed in – this vibrating sensation lasts only for a very very short time. This small inconvenience is absolutely worth for the benefit of having fixed teeth again.

After the procedure the dentist closes the gum with dissolving stitches, the gum heals completely in a few days’ time. In the first 2-3 days the gum may be tender and swollen but within a week all symptoms should disappear. The stitches will start to dissolve after 7-10 days, then it may be worth visiting the dentist again to remove the remaining stitches and check the healing progress but this is not absolutely necessary: it might be more comfortable to have the stitches taken out within a few minutes but they will dissolve in a few days’ anyway.

Implants need 2-3 months to settle down in the jawbone, after that they will safely be able to support the new crown or bridge. For the healing period you can have a denture or a temporary plastic crown on the implant. In the second stage the dentist opens the gum above the implant, inserts the abutment – another screw, which will hold the new tooth – in the implant and takes impressions for the dental technicians. The impressions show the neighbouring teeth as well, so the technicians are able to make a new crown or a bridge that perfectly fits in its position. The dentist also takes a wax model of the bite so that the height of the new teeth should be perfect. At the same time the colour of the crowns are also determined according to the colour scheme in order that the shade of the new teeth should perfectly match the other teeth’s.

The new crowns or bridges are prepared in the dental lab in 3-4 days, for this time the dentist inserts a so-called healing screw in the implant, which helps the gum healing in a nice, even shape. When the new teeth are ready, the dentist removes the healing screw, inserts the implant abutment again and finally cements the new crown on the implant head. The implant-based crowns and bridges are just as strong as natural teeth – you can freely bite, chew and smile with them. We also have to remark that when the tooth was missing for a long time it takes a few days until you get used to the new tooth but this strange feeling always disappears. It may also happen that the new crown needs some slight height adjustment but this is just a few minute procedure, and – just as everything so far – is absolutely pain-free.

Compared to other dental services having implants is a relatively expensive procedure because with the help of very precise and modern technology completely new teeth are built up. When you compare prices you should consider that implant-based crowns consist of three parts: the implant itself, the abutment, which supports the new tooth and finally the porcelain crown or bridge, which are the visible new teeth. In many practices the three items are separately charged but we – just as in general – tend to be fair and reasonable in this question: when you have the implant, you pay the given price, which includes the abutment as well and when the second, crown stage is done, you pay the price for the crown or the bridge. There are no hidden charges or unexpected items in your bill; you only pay the originally quoted amounts.

Another fact that is worth considering is that in our practice the success rate is extremely high; there are only 1-2 failed implants a year from about 500. Therefore we are happy to provide full guarantee for the implant treatment; in the very unlikely case of implant failure you will have a new implant for free or full reimbursement of the costs.
The results of the implant based crowns and bridges are so reassuring that we have never heard of anybody who would have regretted their decision, the only thing people sometimes regret is that they had not done it much longer before. If you are considering having implant-based crowns or bridges, please contact us and we will be happy to answer all your further questions.

Why are back teeth so important?

We had a little argument with one of our patients recently, although it is not very common that we get into conflicts in the dental surgery. Steve arrived with a very swollen face caused by a heavily decayed and infected molar tooth. His main desire was to stop the pain as soon as possible so he thought the best would be to get the tooth taken out immediately. He said that back tooth is not very important for him and this was the main point of disagreement between him and the dentist.

After taking the x-rays we saw that the tooth can be saved with a root canal filling. After the root canal treatment the root would be able to support a crown with a post, which can last for decades. The first step would be to clear the tooth and together with the help of antibiotics the pain would also stop in 2-3 days. In the end we managed to persuade Steve, that he does need this tooth – and all his back teeth – with the following arguments:
When there is a gap the teeth will tend to occupy the empty space. They would either move sideways leaving bigger gaps between the remaining teeth or lean in and therefore they would not provide optimal chewing surface.

The opposing teeth (in case of a lower tooth they are the upper ones on the same side) will not get any counterforce, therefore they would slowly start to move downwards. Any missing tooth in the long term will weaken the opposing one as well and eventually these will also erode.

In case there are missing teeth on one side, chewing will not be balanced. If we chew only on one side for a longer period of time, the joint will be overloaded on this side and get weaker on the other. This imbalance can cause several irreversible processes in the temporomandibular joint: the joint will get painful, give a strange noise when chewing and get easily dislocated.

In case there are several missing molars only the front teeth are left for chewing. However as the shape of the front teeth shows, they were designed for biting and not for chewing. If we use the front teeth for chewing for a long period of time these teeth will be overloaded, which they will not be able to resist: they will get weaker, get broken or start to move.

Eventually Steve trusted us and undertook the root canal treatment; now he is happy with his new crown. In case of missing teeth we recommend to get them replaced with implant based crowns or bridges; we provide free consultations and give free treatment plans to make the process easier and help you to find the optimal solution.

We are introducing our new American colleague…

Thank you seems such small words to use when my new teeth look so lovely but THANK YOU to you and the team at Perfect Smile. Perfect is the right word.

As you are now no doubt aware, I was a very fearful, nervous and worried patient. This mainly stems from having grey second teeth as a child and having crowns fitted at 16, only to have two replaced at 17, in the wrong colour, after a car accident.

However, I now know fear, nervousness and worry should have not even have crossed my mind!

Steve had done his research but having gone through the process previously I was not looking forward to my ‘holiday’ and as Steve had already confirmed his seat in the chair, it was me who was having the assessment on arrival.

A Letter from Jackie about her Dental Experience

Hello Andrea,

Thank you seems such small words to use when my new teeth look so lovely but THANK YOU to you and the team at Perfect Smile. Perfect is the right word.

As you are now no doubt aware, I was a very fearful, nervous and worried patient. This mainly stems from having grey second teeth as a child and having crowns fitted at 16, only to have two replaced at 17, in the wrong colour, after a car accident.

However, I now know fear, nervousness and worry should have not even have crossed my mind!

Steve had done his research but having gone through the process previously I was not looking forward to my ‘holiday’ and as Steve had already confirmed his seat in the chair, it was me who was having the assessment on arrival.

So on Saturday, 4th January 2014 we flew from Stanstead to Budapest and arrived in Budapest at around lunchtime. George was there as planned welcoming us to Hungary and we made our way to the hotel – Boscolo Hotel in Pest. We had rented one of their ‘apartments’ for the week which had a kitchen and lounge area as we wanted to be sure we had space and freedom to relax as necessary. Wow, what a place, they describe their ‘cafe’ as ‘the most beautiful café in the world’ and it is!

On Sunday afternoon, we were in the dentist chair side by side! Dr Tamas introduced himself and announced ‘showtime’! My crowns were removed and a further three were recommended (and this was exactly right), the only reason I wanted to only replace the existing crowns was to get the process over as quickly as possible but my teeth would not have looked complete! Steve also had other recommendations and some non recommendations! i.e. his dentist said he would need his wisdom teeth removed which was not required! With temporary crowns in place we were finished and went out to dinner!

Monday, we were back in the surgery. Steve had his lower set of teeth filed and temporary crowns fitted and I had some fillings to replaced the old amalgam ones. On completion we went back to the hotel, sightseeing and then to dinner!

Tuesday was ‘dentist free’ and then we were back in the chair on Wednesday. Oh no, it’s implant day! I was nearly running for the door. Steve went first as promised and then it was then my turn. With nerves jangling I was in the chair. Dr Tamas put me at ease and confirmed ‘Madam – it is 12.43 but it is not a race’. He then proceeded to drill the implant into my upper jaw and tighten it with which can only be described as a ratchet spanner! On completion, he announced, ‘Madam, it is 12.47, we have finished’ . The only shock was the speed of completion and the lack of pain!

Wednesday evening was spent in the apartment as we required a little rest but still managed to have hot chicken and veg – no soup for us!

Thursday was more fillings for both Steve and I and then a visit to the Technical Centre to ensure the right colour match. I was so nervous as I was so concerned that I would end up with grey teeth but the professionals knew! We then went out for dinner!

Friday was fitting day. Steve had his fitted first. They looked great. I was concerned as I thought they may look false. Again I should not have worried, colour, size and shape all looked completely natural. Now it was my turn. Mine had a slight fitting issue but within 3 hours I had a new set in front of me ready to be fully fitted. WOW is all that I can say. They are absolutely lovely, colour, size, shape all looked completely natural!

Thank you, I love my new teeth. All perfect and I can honestly say I did not take one painkiller the whole week!

I will recommend you to anyone.

Many thanks to you all, the co-ordination, the transport, the kindness, the care and your English!

Please feel free to use this how you wish and please get anyone to contact me as needs be

Jackie

 

Why is Hungary the main destination country in dental tourism?

the extremely reliable and precise Seiler Revelation dental microscope!

 

The Health Services Management Training Centre of Semmelweis University completed a comprehensive study on dental care and patient flow in 2013. The main questions raised were: “Why is Hungary the main destination country in dental tourism?” and “Why do patients choose Hungary for dental care?”

In the study a comprehensive overview was provided where each part of the dental care, from dentistry training till daily practice was described. According to the results these are the main factors that strengthen the role of dental care in Hungary:

  • Dental tourism has long traditions in Hungary. The affordable price, cost/benefit ratio was already recognised in the early 90’s and was appreciated even before the EU accession of Hungary.
  • High quality of dentistry training – more and more foreign students choose Hungary to receive their dentistry diploma; high quality of theoretical and practical training is underlined by alumni students as well; professors are active dentists thus the applicability of the acquired knowledge is high → Hungarian Faculties of Dentistry educate high quality dentists.
  • The quality of materials, equipments is high – European level – quality, the rate of complications stays around 5% similarly to other European countries.
  • Previous treatment experiences are positive, patient satisfaction level is high – more and more patients choose Hungary, more and more patients state that they would return for another treatment in the future.
  • Not only from neighbouring countries but from Europe and the whole world there are patients seeking dental care in Hungary. Due to the increasing prices in Western Europe and the easy accessibility of Hungary and dental treatments in Hungary, the country gained its leading position in dental tourism in 2008 and the volume of foreign patients is increasing.
  • Guarantee is provided; the majority of dental offices ensure quality by ISO and other European, and American Quality Assurance Certificates.

For the full text of the study please see:

Kovacs E., Szocska G., Torok B., Ragany K. (2013) Why is Hungary the main destination country in dental tourism? Why do patients choose Hungary for dental care? Hungarian Case Study on dental care and patient flow. ECAB project (Grant Agreement 242058).