What are Implants?
A dental implant is a titanium threaded insert (like a tooth root) that is surgically positioned into the jawbone beneath the gum line that allows your dentist to mount replacement teeth or a bridge into that area. An implant doesn't come loose like a denture can. Dental implants also benefit general oral health because they do not have to be anchored to other teeth, like bridges.
The Implant Process
How long does the process take?
Depending on the patient's condition and complexity of the procedure, treatment duration may vary but on average takes 3 to 8 months.
For example, implants are implanted in the bone below the gums . If the area of bone is not sufficient or if the gums are short, bone transplantation may be necessary. In these cases, a bone graft is done which requires a certain period of stabilization. This will increase the implant period. If multiple implant are to be planted on the left and right side, it will take longer. Also an upper jaw area implant takes more time than a lower jaw due to the nature of that bone.
Consultation and development of a treatment plan. When a patient visits Yong and Kim Dentistry, a precise diagnosis is made based on the patient's condition. When performing operations such as an implant or extraction, it is essential that the process of examining underlying diseases, is performed . In addition to any Dental issues or disease, other medical conditions which are present or medications begin taken, will determine the availability of certain treatments.
Step one, Primary Surgery is preformed. Any existing tooth will be extracted and a threaded implant corresponding to the root of the implant is planted in the bone below the gum. After that, time must be allowed for the bone to grow and affix to the implant. This is because the implant must be firmly fixed in order to chew food well . On average the lower jaw will require 1.5 to 2 months, upper jaw will average 3-4 months. It is not good to rush this process.
Step two, Secondary surgery is preformed. Patients return to the office after the period of time it takes to for the bone to grow and for the implant to be fixed to the bone below the gum. In some cases, depending on the initial fixation of the implant, there are cases where the first operation and the second operation are performed simultaneously. This depends on the each patient's bone condition after the primary surgery. During the second surgery an incision will be made in the gum to expose the top of the implant (now buried by the gum which has healed over it). A temporary restorations is then installed on the implant and the gum is given time to heal around it (about 2 weeks).
A BONE GRAFT may be required on patients with a lack of bone support.
Patient with history of periodontics may need bone graft.
Patients with diabetes will experience delayed healing and must consider longer treatment Smoking interrupts implant integration into bones and distupts the healing process. If the patient has healthy gums and sufficient bones, bone graft is not not required.
The third step is disinfection and removal of the stitches, which is a necessary procedure after surgery . If inflammation develops during implant treatment , it can lead to implant failure. It is very important to ensure the hygiene during the healing process. The implant surgery cuts into gums and bone in order to plant artificial teeth, so infection is more likely to occur through the gingival region. It is recommended that you visit your dentist regularly during treatment to manage your surgical site. As we have seen above, during the first surgery or second surgery, the gums are stitched to have a seam, usually removed after 2 weeks. If time is delayed, caution should be exercised because inflammation may be caused by seams .
The fourth step is to take an impression in order for a lab to create the prosthesis (artificial tooth) designed to fit the individual's gum shape and tooth color. This will be later be placed on the top of the implant. At this stage in the process a temporary tooth may be made at the office for aesthetic reasons until the final prosthesis is manufactured. Care should be used when eating with a temporary tooth as it does not have the same strength as the final prosthesis.
The final step is the installation of the prosthesis (Artificial tooth) by removing the temporary tooth (if existing) and placing a screw through the prosthesis down into the implant below. The hole is then filled in much like a cavity in order to match the tooth. Maintenance is as important than surgery . This is because the lifespan of implants can vary depending on the state of care .
Post-surgical implant placement
Drink only clear liquids; a soft diet is recommended for the first few days.
Take all prescribed antibiotics to prevent infection.
Take prescribed pain medication as needed for pain.
Use an extra-soft toothbrush twice daily to clean pre-existing teeth or other implants, being careful to avoid the surgical incision area. If patient uses an ultrasonic or electric toothbrush, wait one to two weeks.
Clean between teeth once a day throughout the entire mouth except at the surgical site.
Avoid wearing the temporary prosthesis provided or denture to let the gum tissue heal (if the implant was not immediately loaded).
If recommended, use saltwater rinses or non-alcohol antimicrobial mouth rinse two times daily.