Dental Implants are a screw- like posts made of titanium and are used to replace missing teeth. It’s always better to have your own teeth, but sometimes due to profound caries, apical lesions, fractures or other problems, saving your own teeth becomes difficult. So in order to guarantee you a right occlusion, a right function and esthetics your dentist might recommend you dental implants. Before you accept it or not we are explaining on what consists a dental implant procedure.
An implanted tooth is made of these parts:
-The titanium screw- like device (implant)- that is placed inside your jaw bone
-Abutment– is the part of the implant outside of the bone that will carry the crown, usually made of titanium
-Crown- the same restoration that is used on natural teeth.
There are two main types of implant procedure
• Single phase implant procedure – Sometimes for different reasons the replacement of a tooth needs to be done in the same appointment of the surgery. For example when an anterior tooth is involved. I don’t think anybody likes to go out without an anterior tooth and have the courage to smile in front of people. In these cases the surgeon makes the incision of the gingival tissue, places the titanium implant than he takes immediately an impression of the implant or maximum after 24 hours. This way the dental technician can prepare a temporary tooth. Than after 3-4 months, after the osseointegration of the implant is verified the permanent crown is prepared.
• Two phases implant procedure –In this procedure the surgeon makes an incision in your gums and places the titanium implant inside the bone, he uses a screws cap and then covers the implant with gingival tissue. After 3-4 months or even more the surgeon re-exposes the implant removing the cap and placing another component called healing screw, leaving it at least for 3 weeks. After this time the dentist takes an impression of your implant and prepares the permanent abutment and crown. This kind of procedure is used usually in aesthetic zone, and the final result is more predictable.
Preparing for dental implant procedure
Although having a dental implant means having a small surgery, it is always a surgery. Your doctor needs to know if you suffer from any chronic condition that might affect your health or the outcome of the treatment. Dentists don’t recommend implants in people who smoke, in people who have uncontrolled diabetes, people who have received treatment with bisphosphonates etc.
If you are eligible for tooth implantation before the surgery your doctor will need an X-ray or Dental Scan (CT scan) to see the thickness of your jaw bone and the safety distance with important anatomical structures like the mandibular nerve in the lower jaw or the sinuses in the upper jaw, structures that don’t have to be touched during the surgery.
Your dentist might provide you with some instruction, the most common include:
• Prescribing antibiotics to take one or two days before the surgery, to prevent any future infection.
• Prescribing anti inflammatory medicine and pain killers to take immediately after the surgery.
• Asking you to eat abundantly before surgery because after the surgery you will eat only fluid and cold foods for at least 48 hours, depending on the number of the teeth to be implanted.
• Prescribing an antibacterial mouthwash that contains chlorhexidine.
• Advising to have someone drive you back home if you will need oral sedative or have I.V sedation.
Will you feel pain?
Local anesthesia is used to eliminate any kind of discomfort or pain during the surgery. Some patients that are anxious might need some kind of tranquilizer like Valium or sometimes even I.V. or oral sedation is needed.
After the procedure most of the patient report that the discomfort is less than for an extraction. The doctor will prescribe you pain killers so you feel more comfortable the days after surgery.
Possible complication of the tooth implantation
If the surgery was planed right complication that might happen during the procedure are little. The most important complication that might happen is the damage of nearby anatomical structures, the more serious are the mandibular nerve or the maxillary sinuses.
The mandibular nerve is a sensory nerve. His damage during the procedure means paresthesia or dysesthesias in the area innervated by it.
The sinuses are cavities inside the maxillary bone. The maxillary sinuses act as a cushion of sorts, changing their size to make room for the nose and to maximize its primary function, which is to make air as breathable as possible. Damaging the membrane around them means causing a bacterial infection inside these cavities and that might lead to serious sinusitis.
• Lack of osseointegration – this might be because your body didn’t excepted the implant and rejected it or because of errors made by the dentist. These means that you implant will fail and you will have to get it removed and place a new one if possible.
• Infection of the tissues around the implant that might include bone and gums
• Bone loss around the dental implant – the uncovering of it is ant esthetic and unhygienic. It is difficult to keep it clean so this means more bacteria will remain in the area around the implant collar, these will cause more bone loss, until you lose it.
For more information of possible complication click here.