What is a Dental Implant?
A dental implant is a titanium screw that replicates a normal tooth root. A crown is placed on top of the implant to complete the tooth replacement.
Is the Treatment Painful? Back to Top
Just as with any surgery, there can be some discomfort. Local anaesthesia and/or analgesia is used to manage the discomfort.
Most patients report that they were much more comfortable following the procedure than they had anticipated. Your doctor will prescribe medications to ease any discomfort that may occur.
What Happens On the Day of the Surgery? Back to Top
Restoring your mouth with a dental implant is accomplished in two phases and the whole process can take 6 to 9 months. The surgical phase is done in the dental office with local anaesthesia but can also be done with I.V. sedation.
The First Phase
For the surgical placement of the implant, your mouth will be thoroughly numbed with local anaesthesia.
An incision is made in your gums where the implant will go to expose the bone underneath.
A specialised (but quiet) drill will then be used to create a space for the implant in the bone.
The implant itself is then screwed in place with either a hand tool or the same implant drill used to create the initial space.
After the implant is snugly in place, a second component will be screwed into the implant itself and will remain in place during the healing process.
The gums are closed over the implant and a stitch or two may be placed.
Over the course of the next few months, the bone grows into the threads of the implant and stabilises the implant.
The Second Phase
The second phase starts with the re-exposure of the implant. Another small incision is made in your gums to expose the implant unless there was a separate component placed on the implant that sits above the gums.
A small extension is placed on the implant for any impression taken. This component is what the lab will use to fit your new crown.
Your dentist will then start a series of appointments to make your new implant crown. Though some of the steps might be different in your case, they usually include making impressions of your teeth. From these impressions, they will make precise working models of your mouth, which are carefully mounted for proper alignment. Your crown is fabricated on these models.
The last step is the final placement of your new crown. In some cases, depending on which tooth is being restored, the dentist may want to try in the new crown before it is completely finished to check the shape and fit of it in your mouth.
The Third Phase
1. Your dentist will start a series of appointments to make your new implant crown.
How Will I Feel After the Treatment? Back to Top
It is normal to have some small bruises and swelling in the gum and soft tissues. Usually, the discomfort, if any, is treated with an ordinary painkiller, such as ibuprofen, hydrocodone, or codeine. You should expect to be able to work the next day.
How Will I Care for My Implant? Back to Top
Your new implant tooth must be cared for and checked regularly, just like your natural teeth. Brush and floss the implant tooth as recommended by your dentist or dental hygienist. See your dentist every six months, or more frequently if so advised.
What Are the Potential Complications? Back to Top
Infection around the surrounding bone and gums
Your body's rejection of the dental implant
Bone loss around the dental implant
Your dental implant may fail to adhere to the bone
If you have any questions or concerns in relation to any of these matters you should discuss this with your surgeon.