A dental implant is an artificial tooth root (synthetic material) that is surgically anchored into your jaw to hold a replacement tooth or bridge in place. The benefit of using implants is that they don’t rely on neighboring teeth for support, they are permanent and stable. Implants are a good solution to tooth loss because they look and feel like natural teeth.
Implant material is made from different types of metallic and bone-like ceramic materials that are compatible with body tissue.
There are different types of dental implants: the first is placed directly into the jaw bone, like natural tooth roots; the second is used when the jaw structure is limited, therefore, a custom-made metal framework fits directly on the existing bone.
Implants are an excellent solution to tooth loss, because because they look and feel like natural teeth.
Dr. Perrott’s Guide to Implants
How do implants work?
Strategically placed, implants can now be used to support permanently cemented bridges, eliminating the need for a denture. The cost tends to be greater, but the implants and bridges more closely resemble real teeth.
Can anyone receive dental implants?
Please speak with us to see if you are an implant candidate. You must be in good health and have the proper bone structure and healthy gums for the implant to stay in place.
People who are unable to wear dentures may also be good candidates. If you suffer from chronic problems, such as clenching or bruxism, or systemic diseases, such as diabetes, the success rate for implants decreases dramatically. Additionally, people who smoke or drink alcohol may not be good candidates.
What can I expect during this procedure?
The dentist must perform surgery to anchor the “artificial root” into or on your jaw bone. The procedure is done in the dental office with local anesthesia. Medications may be prescribed for soreness.
How long does the process take?
The process can take up to nine months to complete. Technology, however, is trying to decrease the healing time involved. Each patient heals differently, so times will vary. After the screws and posts are placed surgically, the healing process can take up to six months and the fitting of replacement teeth no more than two months.
What is the success rate of implants?
The success rate for implants depends on the tooth’s purpose and location in the mouth. The success rate is about 95 percent for those placed in the front of the lower jaw and 85 percent for those placed in the sides and rear of the upper jaw.
What is the cost of implants?
Since implants involve surgery and are more involved, they cost more than traditional bridge work. However, some dental procedures and portions of the restoration may be covered by dental and medical insurance policies. Your dentist can help you with this process.
Is your dentist trained in implant therapy?
Dentists such as myself who have received very extensive training can complete this procedure. We may perform the procedure or consult with a team of dental health specialists to produce the result discussed with you. If you choose a dentist other than myself to perform these procedures, please ask your dentist questions about his or her training in implant therapy.
What are the benefits of a dental implant?
Because dental implants are attached to your jawbone, they don’t rely on adjacent teeth as anchors like bridges. They can also prevent bone loss associated with the loss of permanent teeth. And because they offer a firm foundation, they don’t slip, make noise or cause bone damage like dentures can. This means you can eat, talk and smile without worrying about embarrassment.
Implant Restoration Care:
Your overall health may affect the success rate of dental implants. Poor oral hygiene is a big reason why some implants fail. It is important to floss and brush around the fixtures at least twice a day, without metal objects.
Your dentist will give you specific instructions on how to care for your new implants. Additional cleanings of up to four times per year may be necessary to ensure that you retain healthy gums. Once your implant has been placed by the surgeon, follow his directions and report any abnormalities to their office immediately. Our final restoration phase will begin as soon as the surgeon gives the ok to proceed. This is typically 3-6 months following implant placement. If you are wearing any type of temporary prosthesis from our office please call if you have any difficulty with it.
Fixed Implant Restoration
If your restoration is a single crown or a bridge with multiple teeth that do not come out of the mouth follow these instructions. Your restoration is cemented to an abutment that is attached to your implant by a screw. Great care was taken tighten the screw properly so it does not loosen. In rare instances these screws can loosen. It is important to notify us if you think you feel any movement in the tooth. This may indicate that the retaining screw is loosening. Loose screws are prone to fracturing and can be difficult or impossible to remove.
It is also imperative to return for regular dental checkups so we can inspect the implant restoration. Maintain the gum tissue around the implant with normal brushing and flossing. If you experience any slight bleeding or inflammation of the gum tissue, use a warm salt water rinse 3-4 times a day. If not resolved in 3-4 days call our office. Immediately report any excess bleeding or swelling around the implant area. DO NOT USE TOOTHPICKS OR ANY METAL TYPE PICKS AROUND THE IMPLANT. This could cause serious damage to the implant. There are implant safe instruments we can recommend if additional cleaning aids are needed. The crowns attached to your implants require the same care as a normal crown. Do not chew ice as it will cause the porcelain to fracture. Exercise caution when eating very hard foods and do not try to open or tear items with your teeth.
Removable Implant Restoration
If you can remove your restoration follow these instructions. Your denture or partial attaches to your implants with various nylon retainers that are embedded into your prosthesis. These retainers will require replacement as time goes on. The time frame varies so if you notice that your prosthesis is loosening it may be time to have the retainers replaced. We recommend that you remove your teeth at night and thoroughly clean them with a denture brush.
Food and tarter can build up around the retainers and prevent them from completely attaching to your implants. Also use a commercial cleaner such as Stain Away of Efferdent at least once a week. Your implants will have receptors attached to them that will either look like a gold bar or a metal basket. These need to be kept thoroughly clean. Food and tarter build up will prevent your attachments from completely seating and your prosthesis will be loose. They also need to be bushed like natural teeth to keep the gum tissue healthy around the implants. DO NOT USE TOOTHPICKS OR ANY METAL TYPE PICKS AROUND THE IMPLANTS. Our office can recommend additional cleaning devices if needed.
Your implants are susceptible to gum disease the same way teeth are. If proper hygiene and regular dental cleanings are not followed your implants can be lost to periodontal disease. The retainers attached to your implants are held in by screws. It is extremely important to return to our office periodically to have these evaluated. If you notice any loosening of your receptors, notify our office. Loose screws are prone to fracture and can be difficult or impossible to remove.
Fixed bridges require addition cleaning under the pontic (Missing tooth). Since this “Fake tooth” is connected to the adjacent teeth a bridge threader is used to thread floss under it to remove plaque. These are readily available at most pharmacies. We would be happy to demonstrate how to use them.