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IMPLANTS

WHAT IS AN IMPLANT?

Dental implants are artificial teeth (usually made of titanium) that are surgically placed into the jaw bone to replace missing teeth. Most implants have two parts. The first part is a titanium post inserted into the jawbone that will integrate with the bone over time. This process allows the post to function like a tooth’s root. The second part of an implant consists of a custom made dental crown, which is attached to the post. The crown fills in the space and acts very similarly to the original missing tooth.

AM I A CANDIDATE FOR DENTAL IMPLANTS?

The best way is to schedule an appointment for an exam and a CBCT (Cone Beam Computed Tomography) this will give the doctor the ability to produce three dimensional (3-D) images of your teeth, soft tissues, nerve pathways and bone in a single scan. This is a process that will assist in the treatment planning of your implant overdenture. From your initial exam and CBCT, the Purely Dental Surgery team will give you the best options to improve your overall oral health and quality of life. We will discuss the entire process and what to expect.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF DENTAL IMPLANTS?

  1. Dental Implants perform a function similar to a tooth root and are stable because they are anchored in the jaw.
  2. Dental Implants will improve bone and facial features and prevent dentists from having to cut down healthy teeth for conventional bridgework.
  3. They preserve the jaw bone and prevent bone resorption which causes the facial structure to shrink.
  4. Implants have high success rates and in most cases will last as long as comparable teeth replacement options.
  5. Implants look natural and help to give a patient the ability to eat, smile and engage in activities that they may have neglected over the years.

SHOULD I ELECT TO HAVE MY IMPLANT SURGERY WITH IV SEDATION?

If you are someone who has lots of anxiety during a dental procedure, the doctor is able to offer sedation as well. Intravenous sedation is also known as conscious, twilight, or IV sedation. It enables you to feel relaxed and comfortable throughout the surgery. Performing the sedation through an IV is the safest and most predicable way to reduce anxiety, awareness, and memory during the procedure. During the sedation, you will technically be “conscious” so the body can maintain natural reflexes like breathing and swallowing. Many patients, however, are so relaxed, they drift in and out of sleep (“twilight sleep”) and are frequently unaware of the dental procedure.  The intention is to use the least amount of medication possible while ensuring the patient is comfortable. In addition to being affordable and effective, IV sedation is extremely safe, making it an attractive option for many patients. The disadvantages of conscious sedation are the increased cost and need for an escort after the procedure. You can read more about the different types of anesthesia here.

PRE-OPERATIVE INSTRUCTIONS FOR IMPLANT SURGERY

There are many crucial rules you must follow in order for us to perform the surgery. Please be sure to review all the pre-operative instructions as soon as possible. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the doctor or his staff.

Click here to read more or print a copy for yourself.

THE SURGICAL PROCEDURE

Most implants require two separate surgical procedures. At the first appointment, the implant is placed into the jawbone. The implant then heals for 3-6 months following the surgery. The second surgery is usually easier and has a faster recovery. It entails uncovering the implant from the tissue and placing a small post that will protrude through the gums until the crown is completed. At the time of implant placement, the doctor will need to numb your jawbone and gums that surround the area with an anesthetic. During the implant process, you will feel pressure and vibration, but not pain.

POST-OPERATIVE INSTRUCTIONS FOR IMPLANT SURGERY

Please ensure you take the time to review the post-operative instructions to have the smoothest recovery. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the doctor. Click here to read more or print a copy for yourself.

KNOWN RISKS AND COMPLICATIONS ASSOCIATED WITH THE SURGERY

Common risks associated with any surgical procedure include swelling, bruising, pain, and bleeding. In addition to the above risks, the following are uncommon but possible risks associated with implant surgical procedure:

  • Infection: Any infection should be taken seriously and reported to your surgeon, who will appropriately treat the problem. Signs of infection include fever, abnormal swelling and pain, salty or prolonged bad taste and pus formation.
  • Damage to Adjacent Teeth: Damage can occur to other teeth close to the ones being removed. Often this damage occurs on teeth that have large fillings.
  • Nerve Damage: Numbness, pain, or changed feelings in the teeth, gums, lip, chin and/or tongue (including possible loss of taste). This is because the tooth roots can be very close to these nerves, which means they can be injured or damaged. Usually the numbness or pain goes away, but in some cases, it may need more treatment or may be permanent.
  • Sinus Complications: The roots of the upper back teeth are often close to the sinus and sometimes a piece of the root can get into the sinus. An opening may occur from the sinus into the mouth that may need more treatment.

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