Dental Implant Diagnosis
The dental implant procedure commonly begins with the patients being referred by their general dentist to specialist implantologists. It is also common for a general dentist to work with the specialist in providing the crown and bridgework on top of the implants. Implant diagnosis typically includes a careful consultation with history and radiographic examination.
Dental Implant Preparation
Dental implant preparation procedures may be carried out prior to actual implant placement. These include production of models and guides to assist the surgeon in the correct placement of the dental implants.
Dental Implant Surgery
Dental implant surgery itself is most commonly carried out under local anaesthetic. Sedation may be available for patients in an oral or intravenous form although this varies from country to country. The surgery carried out is most commonly a minor surgical procedure entailing extraction of teeth is necessary, lifting back the gum tissue and the placement of the implant itself with a small amount of drilling. Sutures are commonly placed and the patient may expect a small amount of discomfort and swelling following placement.
Dental Implant Restoration
Implants may be placed in two surgical stages; the first being implant placement where the implant is buried in the bone beneath the gum, the second stage is where the implant is uncovered and an abutment connection made. Alternatively a single stage procedure is where the healing abutment that can be seen immediately in the mouth following implant placement. After the healing period, this abutment is removed and the impression moulds taken by the dentist. A laboratory will commonly make the final fitments to be placed at the final stage.
Dental Implant Healing
After a dental implant is placed, the healing will happen quite quickly for the soft tissues; within a matter of week or two. The healing of bone around a dental implant is termed osseointegration and can be likened to a healing bone fracture. It typically takes some 6 to 8 weeks although remodelling and ongoing changes can take place for a year or more. Like a bony fracture it is important to immobilise the dental implant and prevent inadvertent loading or chewing which can cause mobility and early implant failure.
How long will dental treatment take?
Traditionally implant treatment can take 2 to 3 months much of which is waiting for the implant to heal or osseointegrate in the bone. The patient is often unaware of the implants during this period and only suffers a minor inconvenience of having a temporary bridge or denture. Shorter healing periods can be used but there can be a risk of implant failure associated with immediate or early loading.
What are the benefits of dental implants?
The benefits of implant treatment can be likened to the replacement of one’s own teeth. A dental implant or implants may be thought of as an anchor supporting a single tooth bridge or denture. The crown or bridgework maybe cemented onto an abutment attached to the implant or attached via small screws in a way that the dentist can remove the bridgework is necessary. There are considerable aesthetic benefits from use of implants as far as appearance goes. The direct rigid connection between the implants and the jawbone enables patients to eat apples, steak and other traditionally avoided foods.
Where can I find a dental clinician who can treat me?
Dental implant treatment is increasing in its provision around the world. As with any form of medical care it is important to find a clinician is well qualified and experienced in provision of the treatment.
Where can I get advice on dental treatment?
Is important to be able to find and experienced and caring medical professional who can provide a high standard of treatment. A patient’s own general dentist may already have a referring specialist. Friends and colleagues who have been happy with the treatment carried out by an implant specialist are often happy to share this information and provide a source of reassurance to the patient.
When should I have dental implants done?
This will differ for every patient and on a case-by-case basis. Implants may be placed at the very time a tooth is taken out. This has the benefit in some cases of maintaining the bone that was surrounding the tooth. Alternatively doctor may decide to wait a period of days/months after extraction. If teeth had been missing from a number of years than the jawbone can disappear or resorb and in some extreme cases this can make implant placement very difficult and grafting bone from the hip or from other sources may be considered.