Frequently Asked Questions
What is a dental implant?
A dental implant is a commercially pure, medical grade: titanium post. It is threaded on the outside to engage into the jaw bone. It is hollow and threaded on the inside, to accept the prosthetic hardware. A dental implant essentially acts as a tooth root. It's the foundation for the super structure, be it a crown, bridge abutment or denture attachment.
What are the benefits of a dental implant?
A dental implant is an advanced medical device, the closest thing we have to giving a patient back their own tooth. It is designed, together with proper aftercare, to last a patient a lifetime.
There are many benefits to dental implants, They allow for the replacement of a missing tooth or teeth: without having to wear a bulky, loose, removable denture. The implant option can alleviate the need to shave down neighboring teeth for a cemented dental fixed bridge. They are more comfortable than many other replacement options. Many patients report increased confidence and an improved cosmetic result after implant treatment.
What is the success rate of dental implants?
The overall success rate of dental implants is about 95%. Presently, there are almost 5 decades of clinical research to support this option of replacing teeth.
What are the risks and complications of dental implants?
Failure to integrate. The implant does not fuse to the surrounding bone and becomes loose and/or infected. Under these circumstances the implant cannot support forces of chewing and should be removed.
Infection (acute), often occurs at the time the implant is placed. Antibiotics and antibacterial mouth rinses help to reduce the chances of this problem.
Peri implantitis: or gum disease around the implant. Red swollen gingival tissues, with pain, pus and shrinkage of the bone around the implant. Personal and professional hygiene is the key to avoid this complication. Regular dental check-ups/cleanings and bite (occlusal) assessments are necessary.
Damage to neighboring anatomical structures during implant placement. These structures include: adjacent tooth roots, sensory nerves and the maxillary sinus.
Fracture of the crown or implant itself.
Am I a good candidate for dental implants?
All patients considering dental implants rehabilitation will undergo at minimum: a medical evaluation, a clinical exam and a radiographic assessment.
Patients must be medically fit for general oral surgical procedures.
Their jaws must have an adequate volume of healthy bone to support the implant(s). (cortico steroid therapy, severe osteoporosis, certain connective tissue diseases, some auto immune disorders and radiation therapy: are but a few examples of conditions that effect the health of the jaw bone).
Smoking is a risk factor for implant failure. Fortunately, it is a modifiable habit. While smoking alone might not exclude a patient from implant treatment, combined with other medical issues: it might.
Any remaining questions can be addressed by your dentist or oral and maxillofacial surgeon.