Who is a good candidate for dental implants?
Pretty much anyone who is looking to replace one or more missing or damaged teeth that has sufficient jawbone width, height and density to support dental implants. In certain circumstances such as for heavy smokers or individuals suffering from a chronic disease like diabetes, a special evaluation will be required prior to beginning the dental implants procedure.
What if my jawbone is not strong enough for dental implants?
If your dentist notices that your jaw height, width or density is not adequate to support dental implants, they may recommend undergoing a bone grafting procedure prior to receiving dental implants. This will add bone or bone like structure to your jaw, making it strong enough for dental implants.
Another option if the patient doesn’t want to do bone grafting is the tilted implant approach. In this procedure the dental implants are inserted into the jawbone at an angle so that there is greater contact between the implant and bone.
In cases where the jawbone height has deteriorated substantially, bone grafting or tilted implants will not be viable solutions. Instead, your dentist may recommend getting subperiosteal dental implants, which do not need to be drilling into your jawbone but are less effective than regular dental implants.
How long does the complete procedure take?
Your periodontist will decide on an appropriate treatment plan for you, which will determine how long the procedure will take. In most cases, a three stage approach will be taken with the following time frames:
- surgically inserting the implants – the surgery will last around 1 hour, however, the healing period for the implants to fuse with the jawbone can take up to 6 months.
- attaching the abutment to the implants – this procedure will take less than an hour plus an additional few weeks for the gum tissue surrounding the implant to heal.
- attaching the dental crown – this will take less than an hour to complete.
So in a typical dental implant treatment, the procedures themselves only take a few hours, but the healing can take several months. In some rare cases, the entire procedure can be completed in one day, however, there is a higher risk of complications in the future.
Is the dental implant procedure safe?
Dental implants are safe for most people and is the duty of your dentist to recognize whether or not it will be safe for you. Smokers and those who have certain medical conditions such as diabetes or osteoporosis may have complications due to lower bone quality and the body’s ability to heal itself.
Is it a painful procedure?
In most cases, dental implant patients will be placed under local anesthetic during the procedure to make it comfortable. If required, sedation can also be an option for those that may develop anxiety from such a procedure. After the procedure is complete minor discomfort may be experienced for a few days. If the discomfort last for more than a week, visit your dentist right away to see what the problem may be.
Will my new teeth be as strong as natural teeth?
The dental implant procedure is intended to replace full functionality to a lost or severely damaged tooth. Since it is made out of titanium which osseointegrates to the jawbone, a dental implant should be as strong as your natural teeth.
How long do dental implants last?
As long as good oral hygiene is practiced and the implant is taken care of as a natural tooth would be, a dental implant can last a lifetime. The crown attached to the implant, however, may need to be replaced every 10 to 15 years depending on the material it is made of due to wear and tear from chewing and grinding of teeth.
What is the success rate of dental implants?
Dental implants, when placed into a healthy jawbone by a reputable dentist or periodontist, have a very high success rate of over 90%. They still need to be taken care of in the same way natural teeth need to be, otherwise there is a higher chance of complications arising in the long run.