Implants give a second chance to patients who have lost their teeth. You can turn back time with dental implants and enjoy your life as if you had your natural teeth. Read the following Frequently Asked Questions to learn all about dental implants.

Who can apply implants?

A prosthesis specialist and a surgeon are needed to plan, apply and form the structure of an implant.

Are implants always successful?

Various implants have been in use since the1950s. The success rate since that time has reached 95% with the help of technological advancements in materials and processes.

Is it possible for the implant to fall or not hold?

This is seen very rarely. Since the use of titanium, which is a very adaptable material used in implants, the acceptance rate or ability for the implant to stay in position has increased to 99%. If it is seen that the implant isn’t cemented during the healing process it is gently removed letting the tissue heal and another implant is put in place.

Can anyone have implants?

Usually anyone who has a tooth pulled is a candidate for implants. But there may be special cases. Individuals who suffer from severe chronic illnesses, are heavy smokers or suffer from drug addiction are not suitable candidates for implants. After a thorough examination, your dentist will determine and advise you if you are a candidate for dental implants.

Will people know I have implants?

Today’s technology can make you feel as if an implanted tooth is your own and it will look and feel like a natural tooth. The majority of patients are so happy with their implants, they tell everyone how pleased they are with the outcome.

How long does the treatment take?

The length of time depends on the implant type and treatment, it may require between a few weeks and six months. If bone graft is needed it may take a longer time.

Is there any pain or disturbance?

Placing the implants is a small procedure. Most patients say that it is less painful than having a tooth pulled. With modern local anesthesia and a good post operation care your discomfort will be kept at minimum level. If necessary, some sedatives can be used to decrease your anxiety or full anesthesia can be applied.

I still have some of my teeth, can I have implants?

Yes you can, this is not an obstacle. It is possible to get implants for one tooth or the whole mouth.

Can implants always be applied on lost tooth?

This depends on your jaw bones. Your dentist will determine through X-rays, if you have sufficient bone level for an implant. If not it may not be possible without graft (bone dust) treatment.

What do I need to do after the procedure?

After the procedure, your dentist will give you some antibiotics and pain killers or will instruct you to use these medicines before the operation. The day of your procedure, you must refrain from smoking, exerting yourself or driving. Consume only soft foods and do not gargle near the treated area. You also must be careful when brushing your teeth to ensure that you do not traumatize the treated area. You also must use clorhexidine mouthwash with the approval of your dentist for a week.

What happens after the implants are placed?

After the implants are placed, the bonding of the implants with the bone follows and this usually takes around 3 months for the lower jaw and 6 months for the upper jaw. If the implanted area is a cosmetically important area or involves more than one tooth it might be necessary to use a prosthesis (full dentures) or if you are already using a prosthesis you may continue to use them after some small alterations.

Are implants difficult to clean and care for?

No, but for a long and successful restoration, they must be cleaned very well. Your dentist will instruct you on how to properly care for your implant. Caring for your implants is not very different from natural teeth. There can be areas that are hard to reach and clean which will require different cleaning techniques.

Can I remove the teeth made on implants?

Most prosthesis over implants can only be removed by your dentist. Only some kind of full dentures which are made on ball or bar attachments can be removed by the patient.

Will my implants be seen?

Dental implants are designed to look like natural teeth so no one will be able to tell the difference between a normal tooth and an implant.

Do I have to get an implant for each lost tooth?

No, this is only for when you have only one lost tooth. For more than one tooth your doctor must determine how many implants needs to be applied. Usually, we want to support the loss with as many implants as your jawbone will allow or tolerate. For a jaw with all teeth gone 5-6 implants will be sufficient while 2 implants and a bridge over them will enough for a loss of 3 teeth.

What happens if I have an accident?

During an accident not only your implants but your natural teeth may get hurt too. If you want to decrease the risk, if you are involved in intense physical activity or have a job that involves moving objects near your face, your dentist can make you a transparent tooth guard to wear over your teeth. If your implant is damaged in any way, instead of removing the implant another implant can be placed to the nearest hollow area and a prosthesis is used again (This is done as much as your jaws and tooth structure will allow.)

Are implants expensive?

When thinking of the advantages the price is worth it, although comparing implants to other methods it may look expensive. Under normal circumstances, you will not pay much more than a bridge prosthesis. In the long run, they have more success and have a better performance/price range.

Less expensive solutions have some disadvantages too. During a traditional bridge prosthesis 2 neighboring teeth are cut to be smaller which shows that implants are good for the remaining teeth’s health. Besides only 2 implants can stop full dentures from moving out with tongue movements. This is a benefit that increases the quality of our daily life letting us eat and speak easier and causing fewer disturbances.

What do I need to know before starting an implant treatment?

First of all, you have to know about the treatment plan, how many implants you will need, what kinds of prosthesis will be used.

*Soft Tissue and Esthetic Considerations in Implant Therapy
*Author(s) / Editor(s): Sclar, Anthony G.

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