Common Questions About The Dental Implants Procedure
What are dental implants?
Dental implants are Titanium metal posts or frames similar to the materials used in knee or hip surgeries that are surgically positioned into the jawbone beneath your gums. Once in place, they allow your dentist to mount replacement teeth onto them.
What is the difference between a dental implant and a bridge?
Contrary to the insertion of a bridge, an implant treatment does not require the support or destruction of neighboring teeth. The neighboring healthy teeth are thus preserved because they are not ground down, therefore not requiring unnecessary root canal treatments or extractions due to trauma. Furthermore, as the bridge does not transfer chewing forces to the bone, a deterioration of the bone may occur.
On the other hand, anchoring the implant into the bone has a mechanical influence on the bone tissue, which facilitates the formation of new bone, thus increasing the longevity of the dental implant for a Lifetime.
By serving as an anchor, the implants also make it possible to replace removable devices like dentures with a stationary prosthesis.
Why is it preferable to replace a missing tooth or missing teeth?
The absence of teeth leads to the following consequences:
- Bone loss (non-stimulated bone has a tendency to decrease)
- Possible complications and shifting at the level of the remaining healthy teeth
- Decrease in the chewing function
- Digestive problems
- Aesthetic damage and change in facial expressions
- Speech difficulties
Dental implants help to remedy these complications by bringing an aesthetic and functional solution.
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When should I decide on a dental implant?
Implant treatment makes it possible to:
- Replace an isolated tooth
- Replace several teeth
- Replace all teeth on a jaw that is completely toothless.
In this case, the implants accommodate the securing of a bridge or to stabilize removable dentures.
What are the materials used?
Titanium has in most cases become the reference material, due to its high resistance and its excellent tolerance in the body (bio compatibility).
What is the success rate?
Over 98% beyond year 3.
With the current advances in technology, the reliability of the current implant treatments thus no longer needs to be proven. Success depends on several criteria: the bone quality, the surgeon’s expertise, the absence of risk factors, the patient’s oral-dental hygiene and professional follow-up.
Am I too old for a dental implant?
There are no age limits. Any elderly person can receive a dental implant, provided that there are no major medical risk factors. However, a dental implant cannot be inserted for a patient who is too young (under the age of eighteen years approximately). It is essential that the jaw is fully developed at approximately 20 years of age.
What is the cost of a dental implant?
It is difficult to give a budget estimate, knowing that the cost of an implant treatment varies according to the complexity of the clinical case (number of implants, increase of the bone mass, etc.). Since the fees can vary greatly from one patient to another, an estimate should always be requested prior to treatment. A dental implant with crown should be approximately the cost of a 3 unit bridge.
The estimate can only be issued following a thorough preliminary examination.
The cost of inserting a dental implant is not set and depends on the fees of each dentist.
What does the surgical procedure consist of?
The surgical phase consists of inserting the dental implant into your jaw bone. It is practiced under local anesthesia and is relatively painless.
The duration of the procedure varies between thirty minutes and two hours, depending on the complexity of the procedure (number and location of implants, bone volume available, etc.).
The practitioner makes an incision in the gums and drills the bone on the site intended to receive the implant. An increase in the bone mass can be envisaged when the bone volume required for inserting the implant is insufficient. Once the implant is inserted, the gums are closed up and sutured. After the healing period (called “osseointegration”), a prosthesis will be secured on the implant (Your crown is delivered and secured so you can once again smile and enjoy your meals).
Is the surgical procedure painful?
The insertion of implants is generally performed under local anesthesia and the procedure is relatively painless with advanced technology. It is NOT the same as having your tooth removed!
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How much time do I have to wait for a new tooth?
Once the implant is inserted, it will take approximately 3-4 months before placing the prosthesis aka crown (required period of time for the healing phase). During this period of time, a temporary tooth can be placed for aesthetic reasons (particularly for visible areas) under certain conditions
What is the projected Lifecycle of a dental implant?
Dental implants have a long lifecycle, even unlimited. Clinical studies conducted for the long term certify that dental implants theoretically do not have a limited lifecycle, provided that good oral-dental hygiene is adhered to and that regular follow-ups with a healthcare professional are ensured.
What are the precautions I take after a dental implant is placed?
Good oral-dental hygiene as well as regular follow-ups are essential for ensuring the longevity of the implants in the long term. In the case of insufficient oral hygiene, the implants are more subject to infections than natural teeth.