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Dental Implant

A dental implant is an artificial tooth root that is placed into your jaw to hold a replacement tooth or bridge. Dental implants may be an option for people who have lost a tooth or teeth due to periodontal disease, an injury, or some other reason.

Flow Chart of Management

  • 1st Visit
    – Consultation, X-rays and Treatment planning  
  • 2nd Visit
    – Placement of implant fixture surgically
    After 3 to 6 months of osseointegration process   
  • 3rd Visit
    – Preparation of implant to receive fixed / removable restoration  
  • 4th Visit
    – Delivery of restoration 

There are now more options to replace missing teeth and one that is gaining in popularity and use is the dental implant.

The implant is usually made of titanium and is surgically placed by a dentist or dental specialist such as an oral surgeon. These screw-like parts are placed into the jaw bone and are meant to imitate the root of the tooth.

There are several factors that will determine the length of time needed for an implant procedure.

  • Your dental health

  • The number of teeth involved

  • Which teeth are replaced

  • If there will be a tooth extracted prior to implant placement

These factors will also determine the total number of visits to the dentist throughout the treatment period. For instance, a single tooth implant surgery can typically take 45mnts to 1 hour from start to finish.

Just as with any surgery, there can be some discomfort. Local anaesthesia and/or General anaesthesia are used to eliminate any discomfort at the time of the procedure.

Most patients report that they were much more comfortable following the procedure than they had anticipated. Your doctor will prescribe medications to ease any discomfort that may occur.

Your dentist may provide you with some pre-operative instructions to follow.

These may include:

  • Having you rinse with a special anti-bacterial mouthwash, such as chlorhexidine.

  • Prescribing antibiotics to take for a few days prior to surgery as a preventative measure.

  • Asking you to eat a good breakfast on the day of surgery, unless you are planning on having the procedure done under General Anaesthesia. In that case, you would not be eating anything after midnight the night before surgery.

  • Having someone available to bring you to the appointment and drive you home if you elected to take a Local anaesthesia or General Anaesthesia.

It is normal to have some small bruises and swelling in the gum and soft tissues. Usually, the discomfort, if any, is treated with an ordinary painkiller. You should expect to be able to work the next day.

Restoring your mouth with a dental implant is accomplished in two phases and the whole process can take 6 to 9 months. The surgical phase is done in the dental office with local anaesthesia but can also be done with General Anaesthesia in the Operation Theatre.

The First Phase

1. For the surgical placement of the implant, your mouth will be thoroughly numbed with local anaesthesia.

2. An incision is made in your gums where the implant will go to expose the bone underneath.

3. A specialized (but quiet) drill will then be used to create a space for the implant in the bone.

4. The implant itself is then screwed in place with either a hand tool or the same implant drill used to create the initial space.

5. After the implant is snugly in place, a second component will be screwed into the implant itself and will remain in place during the healing process.

6. The gums are closed over the implant and a stitch or two may be placed.

7. Over the course of the next few months, the implant becomes securely attached to the bone.

The Second Phase

1. The second phase starts with the re-exposure of the implant. Another small incision is made in your gums to expose the implant unless there was a separate component placed on the implant that sits above the gums.

2. A small extension is placed on the implant for any impression taken. This component is what the lab will use to fit your new crown.

3. Your dentist will then start a series of appointments to make your new implant crown. Though some of the steps might be different in your case, they usually include making impressions of your teeth. From these impressions, they will make precise working models of your mouth, which are carefully mounted for proper alignment. Your crown is fabricated on these models.

4. The last step is the final placement of your new crown. In some cases, depending on which tooth is being restored, the dentist may want to try in the new crown before it is completely finished to check the shape and fit of it in your mouth.

Your new implant tooth must be cared for and checked regularly, just like your natural teeth. Brush and floss the implant tooth as recommended by your dentist or dental hygienist. See your dentist every six months, or more frequently if so advised.

  • Infection around the surrounding bone and gums

  • Your body's rejection of the dental implant

  • Bone loss around the dental implant

  • Your dental implant may fail to adhere to the bone

Porcelain veneers usually last 10-15 years. Chipping or de-bonding may occur if you grind your teeth, in this case a protective occlusal splint may be recommended.

Veneers cover the underlying teeth so that can give the appearance of straightening crooked teeth. Veneers do not change the angle that the teeth emerge from the gums so the appearance of the gums may detract from the overall aesthetic effect. Orthodontic treatment may be a better option for very crooked teeth.

The length of time is necessary to allow the dental technician adequate time to manufacture your veneer.

Porcelain veneers can chip or break if the veneer is taking all the force of biting. Hard foods such as nuts and can crack porcelain. Grinding may also cause chips or breakage. If this occurs contact us for replacement or a repair appointment.

As with any dental restoration, your veneer may feel strange for a few days, but you should not feel any pain or discomfort. Your bite should feel even on all teeth.

The tooth under the temporary veneer may be slightly sensitive for a few days, but should discomfort continue, please contact us. If the fit and bite of the veneer is correct, you should not feel any pain once the veneer is cemented. If you do experience pain it may be due to a high spot on the veneer, causing excessive pressure on the spot. Contact us to have this eased.

The veneer is cleared of excess cement once it is inserted; however it is possible for some cement to remain, which can cause difficulty flossing. If this occurs contact us to have it checked.

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