After Dental Implant Placement FAQ
- What Can I Use For Teeth While The Dental Implants Heal?
- What Are The Potential Problems After Dental Implant Surgery?
- How Long Will The Dental Implants Last?
- When Are The Replacement Teeth Attached To The Implant?
- How Do I Clean My New Teeth?
What Can I Use For Teeth While The Dental 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 a temporary or permanent replacement tooth 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, occasionally adjacent teeth 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. These risks and others will be addressed during your consult and you can contact our office at any time with questions.
How Long Will The Dental Implants Last?
Implants usually last a long time. When patients are missing all of their teeth, long-term studies show an 80 to 90 percent success rate at having implants last 30 years or more! For patients missing one or several teeth, recent studies show an even greater success rate of over 95 percent! However, occasionally a dental implants either doesn’t heal properly or loosens after a period of time. In this case you may need to have it removed and replaced. 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 that are determined at your consult and during your surgery, it may be possible attach your replacement teeth immediately or shortly after implant placement. We will review the most appropriate treatment sequence and timing for your particular situation.
The dental work required to complete your treatment is complex. Most of the work involves actually making the new teeth before they are placed. Your restorative treatment begins with specialized impressions that allow your dentist to produce a replica of your mouth and implants. They will also make “bite” records so that we see the relationship of your upper and lower jaws. With this information, your dentist will collaborate with their dental lab to make the abutments (support posts) that connect your replacement teeth/crowns to your implants as well as the replacement teeth/crowns.
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 three short appointments may be required. Between appointments, your dentist will need time to complete the necessary lab work to make your replacement teeth. It is most beneficial that you keep all of your scheduled appointments.
If your final restoration is a removable denture, you will need to come to as many as five office appointments (although it may be fewer) over the following several months. During these appointments, your dentist will perform a series of impressions, bites and adjustments in order to make your new teeth, as well as the custom support bars, snaps, magnets, or clips that will secure your teeth to the implants. During this period, every effort will be made to ensure you have comfortable, temporary replacement teeth.
In general, once your implants are placed, you can expect your tooth replacement treatment to be completed anywhere from 3-5 months.
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How Do I Clean My New Teeth?
As with natural teeth, it is important that you clean implant-supported restorations regularly with a toothbrush, floss and a Waterpik as well as 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 may need repair, including clip replacement, relines, screw tightening, and other adjustments.