DENTAL IMPLANTS FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Dental implants can be placed anytime after adolescence or when bone growth is complete.
Dental implants are composed of a titanium material and shaped like screws, cylinders or blades. Restorations either dental crowns, bridges or implant-supported dentures are secured to the implants after a healing period; or possibly immediately after the implant placement procedure.
Dental implants are among the most predictable tooth replacement options. While there is no guarantee that an implant procedure will be successful, studies have shown a five-year success rate of 95 percent for lower jaw implants, and a 90 percent success rate for upper jaw implants.
A combination of local anesthesia and sedation dentistry, if necessary, is used during implant placement, so patients do not feel pain during the procedure. After the initial surgery, discomfort should be minimal. However, prescription pain medications may be prescribed to relieve any post-surgical pain or discomfort.
Dental implants are a safe and clinically proven alternative to bridges and dentures for replacing missing teeth in qualified candidates. People with certain risk factors, such as smokers, and those with inadequate bone density or who are immune-compromised, may not qualify for implant treatment.
Whether or not the dental implant can be placed immediately after extraction depends on the amount of available bone in the area and presence or absence of active infection. Placing the implant at the same visit helps preserve both width and height of bone and may prevent the need for placing bone grafts when bone naturally shrinks back after teeth are extracted. During the first year after teeth have been removed, as much as 40% of jawbone width can be lost. Sometimes, infection from a tooth or periodontal disease has destroyed the bone to such an extent that it becomes necessary to do a bone grafting procedure prior to implant placement. If it is possible to place the implant at the same visit as the teeth are extracted, this can save at least three months in healing time compared to waiting for an extraction site to heal before the implants can be placed.