Initially, it is necessary to undergo a clinical and radiological dental examination in order to ascertain that the dentition/jaws are suitable to accept implantation/prosthetic treatment; this also involves review of your general medical condition.
Finally, the general medical and dental aspects, as well as the financial implications are discussed with the patient. This is often discussed with our Implant coordinator.
In most cases, various treatment options exist. Their advantages and disadvantages, as well as their costs, will be discussed with you.
As is the case for any prosthetic treatment, some pre-treatment (treatment of tooth decay, periodontal disease, etc.) is also generally necessary to prepare for implantation. Our hygienist will assess and maintain your gums and provide us with data to show your gum health. A healthy (treated) and well-cared-for dentition increases the chances of successful implantation.
It takes a dental team to assess and plan dental implant placement and restoration ― the fabrication of the crowns, bridgework or dentures that attach atop the implants and are visible in your mouth. The dental team consists of a dental surgical specialist ― a periodontist, oral surgeon, or a general dentist with advanced training in implant surgery; a restorative dentist, who plans and places the tooth restorations; and a dental laboratory technician who fabricates them.
Placing dental implants requires a surgical procedure in which precision channels are created in the jawbone, often using a surgical guide. The implants are then fitted into the sites so that they are in intimate contact with the bone. They generally require two to six months to fuse to the bone before they can have tooth restorations attached to them to complete the process
HOW DO IMPLANT TOOTH REPLACEMENTS DIFFER FROM TEETH?
Natural teeth and dental implants may look the same, feel the same, and even function in a similar way, but they are very different. The most important differences are in the way they attach to the surrounding bone, their response to dental disease, their maintenance, and repair.
Teeth attach to the surrounding bone by a periodontal ligament (“peri” – around; “don’t” – tooth) made up of collagen fibres that join into the tooth on one side and bone on the other. Dental implants fuse directly to the bone.
The gum tissues also attach to the root of a tooth with collagen fibres as described above. However, gum tissues can only stick to the surface of dental implants.
Teeth are susceptible to dental decay as well as the need for root canal therapy; dental implants are metal and do not decay or need root canal. Teeth may also be susceptible to periodontal (gum) disease, while dental implants may be susceptible to peri-implantitis, an inflammatory response to bacterial biofilm of the tissues surrounding the implant, which can result in disintegration of the bone to the implant.
WHAT TYPE OF MAINTENANCE DO DENTAL IMPLANTS REQUIRE?
Implant crowns and other prosthetic (false) tooth replacements are made to be remarkably fail-safe systems. They are removable and replaceable (only by your dentist), so that if damage or wear necessitates replacement, this can be accomplished without affecting the implant(s) or attachment to the bone.
Nevertheless, implants do require maintenance. It is important to practice good daily oral hygiene, including brushing and flossing to control bacterial biofilm. It is also important to see your dental hygienist. Special instruments are necessary to clean dental implants that will not damage their metal surface beneath the gum tissues. We will need to monitor your implants to make sure the integrity of the osseointegration is stable, and that the implant crowns, bridgework or dentures are functioning adequately.