What is an implant?
An implant is a man-made replacement for natural teeth which allows the person to return to fixed teeth. It is not a transplant, which is taken from another person. There are several categories of dental implants, which will be selected by the doctor depending on your specific needs and general dental condition. Traditionally implants have been made out of titanium. The latest research and investigation have demonstrated a better biocompatibility of zirconiumxide and many dentists around the world are starting to offer them to their patients.
Which are the advantages of zirconium oxide dental implants?
Metal-free: no corrosion, no antenna effect, no metallic taste, no galvanism or electronic charges.
More natural: like most ceramics, zirconium is much more similar to natural teeth than titanium.
More aesthetic: since zirconium is white the aesthetics is more easily achieved than regular titanium implants.
How much will the treatment cost?
The cost will be determined by the number of implants that will be placed, the type of prosthesis recommended and your particular case. This can only be determined after a thorough examination by your dentist.
Is there discomfort involved?
Just as with any surgery, there can be some discomfort; however, anaesthetic and patient sedation are used to eliminate any discomfort at the time of the procedure. Approximately 95 percent of patients report discomfort of 0-2 on a scale of 0-10 the day after the implants are placed. The doctor will prescribe medications to ease any discomfort that may occur. Special care will be taken to stay in contact with you after the surgery to be sure that you remain comfortable.
How long does it take?
The placement of a single implant may take 30 minutes while advanced cases may need several hours to complete the whole surgery. To complete treatment can take from 3 to 9 months and in some cases, longer. It should be understood that this procedure is advanced and can be a longer process than usual to assure its success.
Is there a chance of rejection?
The body does not reject a dental implant, as it might a soft tissue transplant, such as a lung, heart or kidney. This does not mean that an implant cannot fail, but it would be due to other factors, such as misalignment, improper force on the implant or other conditions or existing diseases of the patient. Zirconium oxide is totally biocompatible and actually integrates with the surrounding bone and becomes part of the body. Zirconium oxide is also used in orthopaedics to replace hip, finger and toe joints.
How long could one expect to be off work?
Generally, you can go to work the next day. Only in some circumstances your implant dentist will recommend the day off and the following day after surgery. Also it is recommended that no strenuous exercise is done. You can expect to be slightly swollen.
What factors contribute to long-term success of Dental Implants?
Long-term success depends on multiple factors.First off, success will depend on the quality and quantity of bone.The better the bone and the more available, the greater the chance of long-term success.Secondly, the experience and ability of the dental surgeon will be a factor.As with any surgical procedure, there is no substitute for the experience and individual talent of the dentist.Third, the quality of the restoration placed on top of the implant will play a big role in long-term success.If the design of the implant crowns or over dentures are poorly constructed, and biting forces are not balanced, even the best-placed dental implant will have a compromised survival rate.Finally, like natural teeth, implants need to be checked and maintained regularly by your dentist.
What will happen without treatment?
When you lose your teeth, you gradually lose the bone that supported them. As this bone disappears, problems with other teeth nearby and a lack of support for dentures, partials and bridges increase. These could include pain, mobility, lack of retention for prosthetics, sharp, painful ridges, mobile gum tissue and sore spots. The tongue enlarges to accommodate spaces of missing teeth. With tooth loss, a five-fold decrease in function occurs and the diet shifts to softer foods. Also, when bone is lost, numbness to the lower lip or even the possibility of fracture of the jaw rises. Since the bone is deteriorating, it will spread and deteriorate around healthy teeth and ultimately cause the loss of those teeth like the “domino effect”.
Who is a candidate for implants?
Anyone who is missing one or more (even all) of their teeth may be a candidate for implants. If one or a few of the teeth are missing, implants in conjunction with a crown or bridge can replace those teeth and function as normal teeth without losing more bone and being subject to decay. If all or most of your teeth are missing, then implants may be placed to fix a full mouth denture.
Are there any age limitations for dental implants?
Minors that have not finished all their growth must not receive implants because this could interfere in the growing process of the jaws.
What might be some of the factors that would prevent me from being an implant candidate?
If you are healthy enough to have a tooth extracted, you are probably healthy enough to have an implant. General good health and adequate bone in the jaw are the key requirements. There are some medical factors that might prevent a person from being a good candidate for dental implants.Some of these may be uncontrolled diabetes, chemotherapy or radiation therapy, parathyroid disorders, blood disorders, rare bone disorders or bone marrow cancer. Some physical factors may include insufficient or poor quality bone, low sinuses or nerve bundles.
How often will I need to have my dental implants checked?
The success of your implants will depend greatly on how well you maintain them. They will need to be professionally cleaned by a hygienist and examined by your implant dentist at least every 6 months.This hygienist should be trained in the specific procedure of maintaining dental implants. Also, brushing daily is absolutely necessary for long-term success.