After Implant Placement FAQ
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, we can usually modify your present complete denture or make you a new temporary denture. If you would prefer non-removable teeth during the healing phase, temporary transitional implants usually can be placed along with the permanent implants, and temporary teeth may be made and inserted the same day. Depending on your particular situation, some implants can be placed and “loaded” immediately. This means temporary replacement teeth can be placed on, or shortly after, the day the implant is placed.
What are the potential problems after dental implant surgery?
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, adjacent teeth may become sensitive or 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 over a 90% 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.
When are the replacement teeth attached to the implant?
The replacement teeth are usually attached to the implant when adequate healing has occurred and your jaw bone is firmly fused to the implant. Depending on a variety of factors, it may be possible to begin this phase of your treatment as soon as 6 weeks after implant placement. We will review the most appropriate treatment sequence and timing for your particular situation.
Once the bone is healed around the implant, we will release you back to the care of your restorative dentist. Your restorative treatment begins with specialized impressions that allows your dentist to produce a replica of your mouth and implants. A “bite” record is taken to determine the relationship of your upper and lower jaws. With this information, abutments (support posts) are made that attach your replacement teeth to your implants. Various types of abutments exist, but many times the best results are obtained with custom abutments which can be made of metal or a tooth-colored ceramic material. Your final tooth crown would then be cemented to the abutment. Sometimes your dentist will make the abutment and crown as one piece in which case your implant tooth will be screwed into the implant.
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 two to three short appointments may be required. Between appointments, time is needed to complete the necessary lab work to make your replacement teeth.
If your final restoration is a removable denture, you may need 5 to 7 office appointments over several weeks. During these appointments, a series of impressions and tooth try-ins will be necessary in order to make your new teeth, as well as design the custom attachments that will secure your teeth to the implants. During this period, every effort will be made to ensure you have comfortable, temporary replacement teeth.
are the most 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.
Will one doctor do everything?
An oral surgeon places the implant(s) and performs other necessary surgical procedures – your restorative dentist provides the temporary and permanent replacement teeth. Both doctors are involved in planning your dental treatment.
How much does dental implant treatment cost?
Before treatment begins, every effort will be made to give you an accurate estimate of all the expenses involved in placing the implants in our office. In many cases, there is an initial charge for the diagnostic work-up, including study models, x-rays, and the fabrication of a surgical template to ensure the best possible result. In addition you will be charged for the abutment or support post(s), plus the crown, dentures, or anything else that will be placed over the implants, including temporary restorations by your restorative dentist so they will provide you with a cost estimate of this part of the treatment. Periodic maintenance such as hygiene visits, tissue conditioners, denture relines and other repairs will also incur additional charges.