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Dental Implants

Gain your natural smile back

Image by Jonathan Borba

Average Stay

1 week

Duration of Hospital Stay

X

Duration of Operation

2-3 visits in 5 days

Type of Anesthesia

Local Anesthesia

Recovery Time

X

What are dental implants?

A dental implant is a long-lasting screw embedded directly into your jawbone. The implant bonds with the bone, becoming the foundation for new, custom-made tooth replacements called dental crowns, which that have the look, feel, and stability of healthy, natural teeth.

Implants can replace a single tooth or all 28. They stay in place while you to smile, eat, and talk, without fear of having them come loose.

Most modern implants are made of titanium, which is biocompatible, lightweight, and super-strong.

Who's a good candidate for dental implants?

People typically opt for an implant after a tooth is extracted, due to infection or decay. If you’ve had a failed root canal or apicoectomy, removing the infected tooth and replacing it with an implant can be more effective than trying to save it.

 

As an alternative to removable dentures, All-on-4 dental implants or individual implants can replace an entire top or bottom arch of teeth.

 

Ideal candidates are healthy and generally good oral health, with healthy gums and adequate bone structure in the lower jaw to support the implant. Heavy smokers, people suffering from heart or gum disease, or patients undergoing radiation therapy to the head and neck area may not be good candidates.

 

For people who don’t have enough bone in their jaw to support the implant, a dental bone graft can fortify the site. This surgery comes with three to four months of healing time, at which point the bone should be ready for dental implant placement.

 

Autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis or diabetes, which can prevent osseointegration (the process by which the implant fuses with the jawbone), can cause dental implant failure. If you have one of these conditions, you may not be a good candidate.

 

Certain medications for heartburn and depression have also been shown to reduce bone growth, leading to dental implant failure. Discuss any medical conditions and disclose all your current medications to your doctor.

How soon after tooth extraction can you get a dental implant?

Doctors say an implant should be placed four to six months after extraction (with or without a bone graft). That gives the bone enough time to heal and strengthen.

 

Beyond six months, the underlying bone can begin to lose density, and surrounding teeth can shift into the gap left by the extracted tooth.

What happens during a dental implant procedure?

Typically, there are two types of dental implants:

 

  • Endosteal implants are placed on the jawbone.

  • Subperiosteal implants are placed under the gum, either on or above the jawbone, providing an option for patients who lack a healthy jawbone and don’t want to undergo bone augmentation to rebuild it.

In cases when the jawbone isn’t thick enough or is too soft, bone graft surgery may be required. The bone may be sourced from another location in the body, or a synthetic bone material can provide the necessary support.

 

This can often be done during implant surgery, though it may need to be done a few months before implants are placed, giving the bone time to heal.

 

Next, you’ll receive local anesthesia to keep you comfortable and free from pain. Then the doctor will place a screw, usually titanium or zirconia, into your jawbone to serve as the root of your new tooth. Once embedded, the implant looks like a small metal bead sitting on the surface of the gum.

 

You’ll then need to wait four to six months for the implant to bond with the bone (osseointegration). Your dentist will cover it with a healing cap.

 

For patients missing all of their teeth, studies have shown high survival rates for prosthetic teeth placed within 48 hours of the implants—known as immediate loading—but allowing several months to heal is still the norm for individually implanted replacement teeth.

 

After the implant has bonded with the jawbone, the doctor places an abutment—a small connector that keeps the dental crown secured—onto the implant, just above the gum line.

 

 

Our dentist will take impressions of your mouth to create an individual crown or implant-supported bridgework. The new tooth or teeth will match the color and shape of your existing teeth.

 

Once the dental crown is fixed to the abutment, it should function just like your natural teeth. Depending on the number and type of implants you get, the entire process can take three to nine months.

What is dental implant recovery like?

If one does not need bone grafting, getting a dental implant should be no more bothersome than getting a traditional filling, and you won’t need time off work to recover.

 

You’ll also want to take it easy on the implant as you heal. The longer you can go without direct contact on the implant while healing is occurring, the better the chance you have of full integration.

 

Our dentist may suggest a soft or liquid diet. If your implant is completely buried under your gum tissue, you can resume eating normally again in one to two weeks, once the gums have healed. If you have an abutment or temporary crown above the gums, avoid hard foods (like chips and nuts) and chewing gum for six weeks.

 

Keep the area clean throughout the healing process by practicing good oral hygiene and dental care, but don’t use a sonic toothbrush, which can disturb the implant.

 

It usually takes four to six months for your implant to bond with the bone in your jaw so the abutment and dental crown can be placed. That’s when you’ll see your final results.

How long do dental implants last?

Your implants will likely last 25 years—possibly longer with proper care. Avoid habits like chewing ice and hard candy, as well as tobacco and tooth-staining drinks like coffee and red wine.

 

Implants are very durable, but they may need some upkeep. Screws that come loose can be tightened and chips in the crowns can be polished. Crowns can also be replaced if they break, stain, or you want a new one for whatever reason.

 

If any pieces of your replacement tooth come out of your mouth, save them and see your dentist as soon as possible. Don’t try to put things back together with a DIY fix.

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