After Implant Placement
What can I use for teeth while the implants heal?
Many options are available, and they are tailored to your specific requirements. If you need a replacement tooth while the implants are healing, temporary removable teeth or a temporary bridge can be made. If all of your teeth are missing it is possible to place an immediate fixed Restore-on-4 bridge on the day of surgery.
What are the potential problems?
Although it is natural to be concerned about the pain that may be caused by these procedures, most patients do not experience severe or significant post-operative pain. Pain medication and antibiotics will be prescribed for you to make your recovery as easy as possible. Occasionally, some people develop post-operative infections that require additional antibiotic treatment. Even though great care is taken to place the implant precisely, occasionally adjacent teeth are
injured in the placement process. In addition, there is a chance that the nerve in the lower jaw, which provides sensation to your lower lip and chin, may be affected. If you are missing quite a lot of bone, it might be difficult to place an implant without infringing on the nerve space. Although we take great care to avoid this nerve, occasionally it is irritated during the procedure, resulting in tingling, numbness or a complete lack of sensation in your lip, chin or tongue. Usually these altered sensations will resolve within time, but they can be permanent and/or painful. If you notify us of post-operative numbness as soon as possible, it will allow us to manage your care in the most appropriate way.
How long will the implants last?
Implants usually last a long time. When patients are missing all of their teeth, long-term studies (more than 30 years) show an 80 to 90 percent success rate. For patients missing one or several teeth, recent studies show a success rate of greater than 95 percent, which compares favorably with other areas in the body that receive implant replacement (such as hips or knees). However, if one of your dental implants either doesn’t heal properly or loosens after a period of time, you may need to have it removed. After the site heals (or on occasion at the time of removal), another implant usually can be placed. Recent studies show that the most important factor that dictates successful long term implant survival is keeping the implants and bridge plaque free on a daily basis. We will show you how to clean your implants and also recommend you attend every 6-12 months (you will be advised how often is best for you) for inspection of the implants and periodontal maintenance cleaning. The current cost of the periodontal maintenance appointment is $270. You should also continue to see your normal dentist for regular check-ups.
When are the replacement teeth attached to the implants?
The replacement teeth are usually attached to the implant when adequate healing has occurred and your jawbone is firmly fused to the implant. Depending on a variety of factors, it may be possible to begin this phase of your treatment immediately or shortly after implant placement but often it is 3-6 months after implant placement. We will review the most appropriate treatment sequence and timing for your particular situation.
Your restorative treatment begins with specialized impressions that allow the production of a replica of your mouth and implants. You will also have “bite” records to record the relationship of your upper and lower jaws. With this information, the laboratory will make the abutments (support posts) that attach your replacement teeth to your implants. Various types of abutments exist. Sometimes “off the shelf” abutments can be used. Other times, custom abutments must be made of gold or tooth-colored ceramic material. Which abutment to use is a decision that often cannot be made until after healing is complete and impressions have been made.
The number of appointments and the amount of time required for each appointment is different for each patient. No two cases are exactly the same and regardless of the number of teeth replaced, the work must be completed with great precision and attention to detail. If you are having only a few teeth replaced, as few as three short appointments may be required.
Dental implants are the more technologically advanced and longest-lasting tooth replacement option available. Restore your confidence.. Smile, eat, and enjoy!
How do I clean my new teeth?
As with natural teeth, it is important that you clean implant-supported restorations regularly with toothbrushes, floss and any other recommended aids. You should also visit your dentist several times each year for hygiene and maintenance. As with regular dentures and other tooth replacements, your implants and their associated components are subject to wear and tear and eventually will need repair, including clip replacement, relines, screw tightening, and other adjustments. Our policy is to see all patients who have implant surgery in our office at least annually for periodontal maintenance to reduce the risk of problems developing long term. At that visit you will have your implants and teeth inspected, thorough cleaning carried out and also advice on optimisation of your daily home cleaning protocols.
Will one dentist do everything?
Usually, a Periodontist places the implant(s) and performs other necessary surgical procedures – your general dentist provides the temporary and permanent replacement teeth. Both doctors are involved in planning your dental treatment. Also, depending upon a variety of factors, different dental specialists may help with your dental care.
Will one dentist do everything?
Before treatment begins, every effort will be made to give you an accurate estimate of all the expenses involved in placing the implants and making your replacement teeth.
After your surgical consultation with us, we will communicate with your dentist regarding the final plan. We will give you a fee estimate for the proposed surgical treatment.
Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek advice from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.