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Dental Implantology is a set of surgical techniques aiming at the functional rehabilitation of patients affected by total or partial edentulism (absence of teeth) by using dental implants, i.e. metal elements surgically inserted in the mandibular or maxillary bone. These elements are fitted with connectors to fasten them to fixed or removable prostheses, to restore chewing functionality.
Currently, dental implants are almost all manufactured from titanium, a biocompatible material that does not cause any reaction when coming into contact with the body.
The most commonly used implants are of the intraosseous screw-retained type which, once placed in the patient’s bone, are firmly incorporated into the bone by physiological osseointegration processes.
Today, intraosseous dental implantology is basically subdivided into two important schools: the Italian school and the Swedish school.
The Italian school introduced the first implant specifically designed for immediate load and titanium for implant fabrication, along with the concept of biological space around implant bodies.
The Swedish school, on the other hand, introduced the osseointegration method based on deferred load.
At present, the most commonly used implants are those of the Swedish school: generally speaking, the chewing load with a fixed prosthesis requires a waiting time of about 3-4 months in the mandible and 5-6 months in the upper maxilla.
Implantology methods basically consist of two surgical techniques:
• Two-stage: the first “submerged” stage envisages the insertion of the implant and the suture of the submucosa. The second stage envisages the reopening of the submucosa after 2 to 6 months so that the dental post can be directly screwed on the implant;
• One-stage: the implant is inserted but its head protrudes out of the mucosa. It is then left to heal (still for two to six months) by osseointegration, or the implant is loaded immediately, with an appropriate dental post in a temporary or permanent manner.