Dental implants offer an alternative to dentures. They can be used to replace one tooth or many teeth. You will need dental surgery to position the implants.
Prosthetic teeth are held by surgical screws placed directly into your jaw bone. Implants can be used to replace one tooth or many teeth.
Some people may not be a candidate for dental implants. Thus a critical step in the implant process is a consultation and assessment. Your consultant will review your complete medical history and a complete oral assessment will be made.
If you need to have any teeth removed your consultant may be able to do this during the same procedure. Depending on your situation your dentist may remove any teeth a few weeks prior to your implant surgery.
In some cases removal takes place several months prior to implant surgery to allow your jaw to fully heal. If more bone mass is needed in your jaw to hold the implants your consultant may also need to perform a bone graft.
What happens during dental implant surgery?
Dental implant surgery is usually done using local anaesthetic. You may also be given a sedative to help you stay relaxed. The length of your procedure will depend on how many implants you are having.
Your consultant will make a small hole in your gum and drill a small hole in your jawbone. A titanium rod will be placed in the hole with an abutment (connection point) exposed on the surface of your gum. The replacement tooth or teeth are then attached. This is called one-stage or immediate implant.
Sometimes implant surgery is performed in two stages. During two-stage implant surgery only the rod is inserted into your jawbone. You won’t be able to see the implant as the rod will be under your gum. You may be given a temporary set of dentures to wear while you jaw heals. If you wore dentures before your surgery your consultant may adjust them so they can be worn during the healing period.
A few months later when your jaw has healed you will have another small procedure to attach the abutment to the rod(s). An impression of your gums with the abutments will be taken so that dental laboratory can produce your new teeth. You will need to return for a follow-up appointment to have your new teeth fitted.
Every tooth implant treatment plan is different. Be sure and discuss your individual treatment with your consultant.
After dental implant surgery
You will need to eat soft food for the first few days after your surgery. Be sure and follow the instructions we give you about cleaning and brushing the area. Take over the counter pain relief such as paracetamol if needed.
Once you are fully recovered your new implants and teeth should perform just like natural teeth. As with any surgical procedure there can be complications:
Specific complication of dental implant surgery may include:
- Nerve damage
- Fusion failure (implant does not fuse to jaw bone)
Why not print this treatment page so you can discuss any concerns you have with your consultant?
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