How is the procedure done?
At present, implant placement is commonly carried out in one stage. This method has simplified the procedure for both patients and dentists/oral surgeons. However, not all patients are suitable for this method; your oral surgeon will advise you accordingly with this matter.
In what situation would a bone augmentation procedure be necessary?
Depending on your condition, additional bone augmentation procedure may be necessary prior to the implant placement. A key to implant success is the quantity and quality of the bone where the implant is to be placed. Over a period of time, the jawbone associated with missing teeth atrophies or is resorbed. This often leaves a condition in which there is poor quality and quantity of bone suitable for the placement of dental implants.
These procedures may be performed separately or together, depending upon the individual’s condition. There are several areas of the body which are suitable for obtaining bone for grafting. Bone grafts can be taken from inside the mouth, in the area of the chin or third molar (wisdom tooth) region or in the upper jaw behind the last tooth. Additional sources of bone may also be obtained from animals or synthetic materials.
Will the implant placement procedure be painful?
The discomfort experience after the placement of implants is generally equivalent to that experience from an extraction of a tooth.
Most implants are placed using local anaesthetic only. Sedation may be used with more apprehensive patients, and in some cases where extensive surgery is required, a general anaesthetic may be recommended.
What precautions should I take before surgery?
Before or after the surger,y you may be asked to take oral antibiotics and use antiseptic mouthwash. You will also be asked to brush your teeth carefully the morning of your surgery. If you smoke, you should stop smoking at least two weeks before the surgery, as smoking has been shown to significantly decrease the success rate of an implant placement procedure.
What happens after surgery?
As with all surgical procedures, there may be mild discomfort and swelling. An ice-pack help to you face will reduce the swelling. The medication prescribed should adequately control the pain.
The first day after the surgery, you may drink liquids and start a soft diet. Take your antibiotics and pain medications as prescribed and continue to use ice-packs and gauze as needed. Proper home care with frequent rinsing helps prevent infection and assists the healing process. Tooth brushing should commence although the surgical area should be avoided for the first two weeks.
The sutures are removed one to two weeks after the surgery. At two weeks you will be asked to clean your mouth with a soft-bristled toothbrush to prevent plaque build-up.
When can I resume my normal activities?
Most people return to work within a day or two of surgery. One to two weeks after surgery, your old dentures may be relined to ensure a better fit.
You can then wear your dentures, which may have to be adjusted during the healing period. Should any soreness develop, be sure to contact your dentist who will relieve the pressure under your dentures.