Q: WHAT IS AN IMPLANT?
An implant is a man-made replacement
for natural teeth which allows the person to return
to fixed teeth. It is not a transplant, which is
taken from another person. There are several categories
of dental implants, which will be selected by the
doctor depending on your specific needs and general
dental condition. You would require an x-ray to
evaluate the amount of bone remaining, models of
your mouth to determine space available and a thorough
examination to decide which type of implant can
help you the most.
Q: Why Implants?
Since dental implants are relatively expensive and other
option of crowns and bridges exist, we have to understand
the advantages it offers over the conventional crown
and bridge treatment. Dental implants are self supported
structures; therefore the reduction of neighboring teeth
for support is not required. Other benefits include
improved appearance and self-esteem as well the enhanced
ability to chew and enjoy your food, coupled with protection
of your remaining teeth and jawbone.
Q: What to do in cases where bone volume does
not support implants?
The success of a dental implant
primarily depends on it's ability to bear chewing forces
which in turn is very much dependent upon how much bone
is available in the site where the implant is placed.
There are lots of things that affect the bone volume
like gum diseases, trauma and age and it is not unusual
to open up a site in the mouth for implant placement
and find out that some of the critical supporting bone
is missing. No problem.... Modern dentistry has gifted
us new techniques to augment missing bone. We can increase
both the height and width of bone by using bone substitutes
called as Bone grafts. We can even use grafting techniques
to prevent the loss of bone in circumstances where bone
would normally be lost like the extraction of a tooth.
Q: Tooth in an Hour?
In certain cases a temporary prosthesis
(acrylic tooth crown) is placed over the implant that
stays in place for the healing phase (Immediate loading
Implants) . This forms the basis of "Tooth in an
Hour" concept that is widely being used by dentists
the world over. Once the implant fuses with the bone,
the temporary crown is replaced by the permanent crown.
Q: IS IT EXPENSIVE?
The procedure can involve a significant
investment and fees can be determined after records
and an examination is completed. A survey of 350 patients,
after completion of their work, indicated that it was,
not only worth the investment, but they would do it
Q: IS THERE DISCOMFORT
Just as with any surgery,
there can be some discomfort; however, anesthetic
and patient sedation are used to eliminate any discomfort
at the time of the procedure. Approximately 95 percent
of patients report discomfort of 0-2 on a scale
of 0-10 the day after the implants are placed. The
doctor will prescribe medications to ease any discomfort
that may occur. Special care will be taken to stay
in contact with you after the surgery to be sure
that you remain comfortable.
Q: HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE?
To complete treatment can take
from 4 to 9 months and in some cases, longer. It should
be understood that this procedure is advanced and can
be a longer process than usual to assure it's success.
We do, however, provide patients with temporary teeth
during this time frame. AT NO TIME are you without teeth
unless you elect to do so.
Q: IS THERE A CHANCE OF REJECTION?
The body does not reject a dental
implant, as it might a soft tissue transplant, such
as a lung, heart or kidney. This does not mean that
an implant cannot fail, but it would be due to other
factors, such as misalignment, improper force on the
implant or other conditions or existing diseases of
the patient. Dental implants are made of a material,
titanium, that is totally bio compatible(compatible
with body tissues) and actually integrates with the
surrounding bone and becomes part of the body.Titanium
is also being used more and more in the medical field
to replace body parts.
Q: HOW LONG COULD ONE EXPECT TO BE OFF WORK?
Generally, we recommend the day
of and the following day after surgery, that no strenuous
exercise be done. You can expect to be slightly swollen.
The amount of time off required is an individual decision.
Q: WHAT WILL HAPPEN WITHOUT TREATMENT?
you lose your teeth, you gradually lose the bone
that supported them. As this bone disappears, problems
with other teeth nearby and a lack of support for
dentures, partials and bridges increase. These could
include pain, mobility, lack of retention for prosthetics,
sharp, painful ridges, mobile gum tissue and sore
spots. The tongue enlarges to accommodate spaces
of missing teeth. With tooth loss, a five-fold decrease
in function occurs and the diet shifts to softer
foods. Also, when bone is lost, numbness to the
lower lip or even the possibility of fracture of
the jaw rises.
Since the bone is deteriorating, it
will spread and deteriorate around healthy teeth and ultimately
cause the loss of those teeth. I think everyone's heard
of the "domino effect". Here's a very easy way
to explain what happens. Picture a brick wall; take a brick
right out of the middle of the wall. What happens? Eventually,
the brick above starts to fall in from lack of support,
the bricks to the side start shifting toward each other
and those eventually fall out; then the process starts all
over for those bricks nearest them. It's a similar process
in the mouth. In addition, this progression will affect
the ability to provide the same treatment in the later stages
of bone loss than if treatment had been started earlier
in the process. It's much better to replace a tooth BEFORE
all of the side effects kick in. By waiting, you risk the
possibility of not being able to provide the same, simple
type of treatment that would have been possible earlier.
Q: WHO IS A CANDIDATE FOR IMPLANTS?
Anyone who is missing one or more
(even all) of their teeth may be a candidate for implants.
If one or a few of the teeth are missing, implants in
conjunction with a crown or bridge can replace those teeth
and function as normal teeth without losing more bone
and being subject to decay. If all or most of your teeth
are missing, then implants may be placed to anchor a loose
denture. Sometimes, if there is already some bone loss,
bone can be added and regenerated or a technique called
bone expansion can be used to create a more ideal site
for the implant(s). More detailed information and images
are available from the treatment menu. Ultimately, a consultation
with a dentist who is knowledgeable on these procedures
can help determine your individual needs.
Q: HOW DO I CHOOSE A DENTIST?
Many types of dentists may be qualified
to diagnose implant treatment, such as a periodontist, oral
surgeon or general dentist. However, keep in mind that not
all dentists have had adequate training and education in
this growing field and may possibly (but not intentionally)
mis-diagnose or more commonly, discourage the option of
implants due to lack of knowledge of the procedure. One
of the ways to ensure that the dentist you choose is properly
trained to diagnose and place implants is to contact the
American Academy of Implant Dentistry at the address or
phone below or we have now integrated a "doctor search"
area in our site.You may access this through the search
button below. There are also other implant based organizations,such
as the International Congress of Implantology (ICOI), that
could also help in choosing a dentist, these are just a
couple. If you can't find a dentist in your area through
the information in this site, you may get additional information
through the ICOI doctor database by clicking on their icon