Top 10 FAQs About Dental Implants
What are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are essentially free-standing artificial ‘tooth roots’ made from the exceptionally strong, lightweight, non-corrosive and stable metal titanium. The choice of titanium as the metal from which the base part of thedental implant is made is an interesting one and originates from innovative work done in the 1950’s by Swedish professor, Per-Ingvar Brånemark. Together with his clinical research team, Professor Brånemark found that titanium metal displayed the unique property of being able to form a strong biological bond with bone tissue, a process termed ‘osseointegration’. In addition to this, titanium metal is incredibly strong and cannot rust or corrode, making it a perfect candidate to assume the role of an artificial tooth root.
What are the Benefits of Dental Implants?
- Aesthetics: Dental implants are used to support an artificial crown that is virtually indistinguishable from a natural healthy tooth. The results are highly aesthetically pleasing.
- Bite Functionality: Dental implants enable patients to eat all the foods they love but previously couldn’t enjoy with missing teeth.
- Non-removable: Dental implants are fixed in the jaw and so they function and feel like natural healthy teeth. Because these ingenious dental devices do not require support from the surrounding teeth and gums like removable dentures and bridges do, they typically don’t cause irritability and inflammation of the gums, nor inflict any damage upon the surrounding teeth.
- Improved speech: Our teeth play an essential role in speech and articulation and it only takes one to go missing for this ability to become compromised. Dental implants successfully help fill the gaps and restore functionality of the mouth as a tool for communication.
- Promoting Short and Long Term Oral Health: The ceramic crowns affixed to the top of the dental Implants provide the support the adjacent teeth need in order to remain stable, preventing the entire tooth row from destabilizing and shifting. Furthermore, the titanium post inserted in the jaw replaces the important source of mechanical stimulation (associated with eating and chewing) that the missing root formerly supplied to the underlying jaw bone. This helps to maintain bone volume, keeping the jaws healthy and strong.
- Long-term solution: Dental implants generally have a lifetime of decades. If looked after properly with good oral hygiene and regular visits to the implantologist, they can even last a lifetime! This makes them the perfect long-term solution to single or multiple missing teeth.
How successful are Dental Implants?
Dental implants enjoy an incredible success rate of 98% if placed properly by an experienced and highly trained specialist. This means that 98 out of 100 dental implants placed are a success and remain stable in the jaw for several decades. In cases where treatment is a failure, factors such as negative lifestyle choices (tobacco use, alcoholism and drug abuse), chronic illness (cancer and diabetes) and advanced gum disease are generally the cause. Another factor for consideration is this: General dentists are increasingly offering dental implant placement to their patients; however, it is always advisable that you seek treatment from a professional who has the comprehensive experience and expertise necessary to deal with all kinds of cases. At the MALO Dental Implants Facility, all of our oral surgeons are highly qualified and have years if not decades of experience in the successful placement of dental implants in patients of all ages, genders and stages of tooth loss and/or periodontal (gum) disease.
Can anyone get Dental Implants?
The great thing about modern dental implant techniques is that almost everyone is a candidate! Whether you are in your late teens or late nineties, or have one or all of your teeth missing, dental implants are a time-tested solution. Together with our sophisticated technology, comprehensively-stocked implant facility, advanced computer design programs and highly qualified and experienced team, we here at the MALO Dental Implants Facility are able to place dental implants in most, if not all patients that present with single, multiple or all of their teeth missing!
What is involved in Getting Dental Implants?
Initial Consultation ~
Most people facing the prospect of receiving dental implants are concerned about what the procedure involves. First and foremost, you will need a proper and thorough clinical assessment of your oral health to determine the cause behind and the extent of the damage or decay associated with your missing tooth/teeth. Should you have lost a tooth to decay, dental caries or gum disease then our oral surgeons at the MALO Dental Implants Facility will take measures to eliminate any oral bacterial infection before proceeding. If you lost a tooth or several teeth to accidental trauma, then X-rays and CAT scan imagery will be used to determine whether the underlying jaw bone sustained any damage that requires reparation.
Surgical Placement ~
Once your evaluation and preparation is complete, the old and damaged or decayed tooth (if it is still present) will be extracted and the gingival sulcus thoroughly cleaned. The oral surgeons at the MALO Dental Implants Facility will then place a titanium screw (implant) into the jaw bone at the site/s of the missing tooth/teeth. A temporary tooth crown or bridge can often then affixed to the abutments of the dental implants right from day 1, so that you don’t feel self-conscious about the gap in your teeth.
Post-procedural Recovery ~
Over the next few months, the titanium dental implant screw will be forming a strong biological bond with the bone tissue in the jaw; a process termed ‘osseointegration’. During this healing period it will be important for you to refrain from eating excessively hard, crunchy or tough foods. The time it takes for osseointegration to successfully take place varies considerably from patient to patient. If you are healthy, exercise regularly, eat a balanced diet and take care to follow the surgeon’s instructions, then it should only take between two and three months.
Final Fitting ~
At one of your follow-up appointments at the MALO Dental Implants Facility, we will determine when your implants have healed properly (osseointegrated). If so, you will be able to receive your permanent tooth crown or bridge, which has been fabricated to look, feel and function like a natural healthy tooth /teeth. Upon this final fitting, you will be able to return to your normal lifestyle and diet with a fully functional and aesthetic set of pearly whites!
Does Getting Dental Implants Hurt?
Incredible advancements in medical science and technology have enabled us to work with an array of sophisticated computer software that is capable of creating a 3D virtual image of the mouth. Using this, the oral surgeons at the MALO Dental Implants Facility can intimately plan the dental implant procedure and enable not just a perfect and comfortable fit, but also avoid making unnecessary incisions and sutures in the gum. It is these factors that exacerbate post-operative discomfort. Furthermore, the procedure is always carried out under either a local or general anesthetic, depending upon the extent of tooth loss and the complexity of the procedure. As a result, patients need not worry about feeling anything while the dental implants are being inserted. Patients also have the choice to receive an oral or intravenous sedative should they suffer from anxiety associated with the dentist’s chair. Analgesics are prescribed to aid in the effective management of any post-procedural pain and discomfort.
Who Can Place Dental Implants and where is the Best Place to Go?
More and more general dentists are offering the placement of dental implants as a service in their practice. Having said this, it is sometimes in the best interests of the patients and in the success of the procedure to have the procedure performed by a specialist, such as an Oral Surgeon. Armed with the relevant experience and the comprehensive array of technology necessary to carry out dental implant placement in the full suite of cases, a success rate of 98% can be maintained. The MALO Dental Implants Facility boasts a staff of these experienced and high qualified specialists. Our sophisticated computer imaging software, CAT scan technology, on-site cutting-edge laboratories and tranquil environment enables our patients to receive any and all the services they need to get their oral health back! Because of these factors, the MALO Dental Implants Facility has proved itself time and again to be one of the very best places to receive dental implants.
How Long Will I Have to Take Off Work?
The amount of time you require off from work depends entirely upon the individual. We generally recommend that you book yourself off for at least one or two days following the surgery, when the post-procedural pain, discomfort and swelling will be at its apex. The analgesics you require to manage this pain may also make you feel sleepy, so it is best that you spend this time resting and allowing your body to recover. If, however, you feel well and energetic enough to return to work a day or two after your procedure – as many patients do – then you may certainly do so!
How do I look after my Dental Implants and New Teeth?
The great thing about dental implants is that they do not require any fancy techniques or expensive gadgetry to be cared for. In fact, your new teeth are cleaned just like your original teeth; with regular brushing and flossing. It is recommended that you pay regular visits to the MALO Dental Implants Facility so that we can make sure your dental implants are healthy and functioning optimally. We also provide professional cleanings, which will ensure that your pearly whites remain healthy and beautiful for many years and decades to come.
Am I Too Old to Get Dental Implants?
Dental implants have been successfully placed in patients of all ages; even those that are well in to their nineties! Thousands of procedures have been performed on people in their late adulthood and the stunning results have revealed age to not be a factor in the ability of the jaw bone to heal around newly placed implants. What is an important consideration is the general health of older patients. Since the placement of dental implants requires surgery and the administering of anesthesia, a detailed medical history is required before the team at MALO Dental Implants will proceed. There are several medical conditions that may make the placement of dental implants too risky to consider as an option and we may require a consent form from your medical doctor to avoid any and all health-related risks.