After Implant Placement FAQ
What can I use for teeth while the 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. A simple and effective pain relief plan will be provided 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. If you notify us of post-operative numbness as soon as possible, it will allow us to manage your care most appropriately.
How long will the implants last?
Implants usually last a long time. When patients are missing all of their teeth, long-term studies (more than 30 years) show an 80 to 90 percent success rate. For patients missing one or several teeth, recent studies show a success rate of greater than 95 percent, which compares favorably with other areas in the body that receive implant replacement (such as hips or knees). However, if one of your dental implants either doesn’t heal properly or loosens after some time, you may need to have it removed. 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, it may be possible to begin this phase of your treatment immediately or shortly after implant placement. We will review the most appropriate treatment sequence and timing for your particular situation. During this period, every effort will be made to ensure you have comfortable, temporary replacement teeth.
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How do I clean my new teeth?
As with natural teeth, you must clean implant-supported restorations regularly with toothbrushes, floss, and any other recommended aids. You should also visit your dentist for regular hygiene and maintenance. 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.
Will one doctor do everything?
Usually, your oral surgeon places the implant(s) and performs other necessary surgical procedures. Your general dentist provides temporary and permanent replacement teeth. Both doctors are involved in planning your dental care. Also, depending upon a variety of factors, other dental specialists may help with your dental care.
How much does dental implant treatment cost?
Before treatment begins, every effort will be made to give you an accurate estimate of the cost of your care. When different doctors are involved in your treatment, you will be charged separately for their services. We will try to assist you in estimating what your actual payments will be after we evaluate your insurance coverage or other third-party payments.