Dental Implants

What Are Dental Implants?

A dental implant is constructed from a metal frame, usually titanium and placed into the jawbone to support an artificial tooth. You can think of it as a synthetic tooth root. The implant offers stability for the new tooth by fusing into the jawbone, so the artificial tooth or dentures do not move around once fitted. Dental implants consist of three parts. The first part is the implant itself, which would be inserted in the bone by Dr. Jamali. After 4-6 months, an abutment and crown are usually screwed in by the general dentist after the placement of the implant.

Dental implants are designed to look just like normal teeth, so it is hard to tell the difference. This is why dental implants are the best solution for restoring smiles. Also, they feel natural, which is more than can be said for some of the other treatment options available.

Dental implants are a popular treatment option for individuals who need tooth replacement. When a dental condition or physical trauma leaves you with a missing tooth you may want to get a replacement as soon as possible. Dental implants are popular solutions in these instances and are fitted by a specialist such as Dr. Jamali.

How Do You Prepare For Dental Implants?

The instructions for preparing for this surgery is discussed with Dr. Jamali on the day of your consultation. During that appointment, all the medical and dental history along with radiographs are reviewed. Types and options of anesthesia are then offered to you. Typically, unless the patient is moderately anxious, local anesthesia is enough to receive one or two implants. You do not have to be accompanied by another person for this. If you are getting 3 or more implants, you may want to choose IV sedation. If this is what you choose, we ask you not to eat or drink anything 8 hours prior to surgery. It is required to have an escort to take you home after surgery. Additionally, stop taking NSAIDs 10 days prior to surgery.

Why Are Dental Implants Used?

When you want to restore functionality and the aesthetics of your teeth, dental implants are highly recommended for various reasons. Firstly, patients feel more comfortable with dental implants as opposed to other alternatives. Traditional bridges or dentures can cause poor ridges, gagging, and even sores in the mouth, which are risky for your oral health.

Missing teeth can negatively impact your appearance and, thus, your self-esteem. Lost teeth can degrade the bone structure and the facial muscles because every part of the face has a role to play. When you have teeth missing, smiling can be challenging and that can make it hard to interact with others. A confident smile can get you a long way both socially and professionally. Lost teeth can also make an individual seem older than they actually are because the skin around that area is loose. Dental implants can help tighten the skin, thus making a person appear younger.

It can be difficult to eat some foods when you have loose or missing teeth. Dental implants open new opportunities when it comes to diets because you have more options. With implants, you don’t have to worry about eating only food that is easy to chew. You can better concentrate on eating healthy and enjoying what you eat.

Dental implants are highly successful, especially with the improved techniques, materials, and equipment that specialists have access to today.

Are Dental Implants Safe?

These days, dental implants are very safe. The advantages of having your implant placed by Dr. Jamali are many. He is a board certified in Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon and dental anesthesiology. This means he has extensive knowledge regarding the jaw and face. He also has the ability to sedate the patient safely if needed. This takes the anxiety of the surgery away.

What Can You Expect During The Course Of Getting A Dental Implant?

Dental implant procedures may be performed with mild anesthesia with or without sedation. Before undergoing a dental implant procedure, however, an oral surgeon must first identify that you are a viable candidate and assess the site to see if the jawbone has enough tissue for the implant. If an unsalvageable tooth is present, the oral surgeon will have to extract it first. If necessary, the surgeon will perform an alveolar bone graft to get a solid base for the implant. In other circumstances, tooth might be missing and the area may not have sufficient bone to fuse with the implant. In this situation, further bone grafting is necessary.

To place implants in the back of the upper jaw, the doctor may have to perform a sinus lift. These regions tend to have limited bone due to the maxillary sinus and may require a graft procedure. In instances where the doctor has to perform work on the location first, the patient may have to wait for several months before receiving the implant.

During the implant procedure, the oral and maxillofacial surgeon uses a specialized drill to place the titanium post. He then places a healing cap over the implant and stitches up the gum to facilitate the healing process. Dr. Jamali can recommend temporary dentures for the sake of appearance as the implants heal (osseointegration). During this period, the jaw bone grows around the implant, which is why it is so strong.

Patients should be careful to not apply pressure in that region. After a proper healing time, the dentist will then place the dental crown, which is molded to suit your color, size, and fit. Whether you are getting dentures or bridges, they have to be custom-made, which is why a patient has to wear a temporary one as the dentist works on the prosthetics to be used for replacement. To ensure that the prosthetic fits perfectly, the dentist takes a mold of your mouth and sends it to the lab. The replacement tooth or crown can be cemented or screwed in, depending on the dentist’s preference.

What Are The Options If All Teeth Are Missing?

  • Dentures (removable)
  • Fixed dentures
  • Anchored dentures to implants

Unanchored dentures are placed on top of the gum line and therefore do not provide any direct stimulation to the underlying alveolar bone. Overtime, the lack of stimulation causes the bone to resorb and deteriorate. Because this type of denture relies on the bone to hold them in place, people often experience loosening of their dentures and problems eating and speaking. Eventually, bone loss may become so severe that dentures cannot be held in place even with strong adhesives, and a new set may be required. Proper denture care, repair, and refitting are essential to maintaining oral health.

Some dentures are supported by anchors, which do help adequately stimulate and therefore preserve bone.

Placing 4-6 implants on each arch allows the denture to be screwed onto implants and become fully stabilized. The dentures would need to be unscrewed twice a year for proper cleaning by a GP. If finances are an issue, two implants can be placed on each arch. The dentures would anchor to these fixtures. It is removable but more stable than regular dentures.

There is also another option that is probably the most stable, that being a fixed bridge. Here, Dr. Jamali can place 6-8 implants in each jaw. Bridge work is made by a dentist and is screwed on the implants. The difference between this and a fixed denture is that it is never removed and looks very similar to regular teeth.

What Are The Options If All Teeth Are Missing?

  • Implant
  • Bridge
  • Removable denture or flipper
  • No treatment

Unlike a dental bridge where both teeth adjacent to the missing tooth are shaved, a dental implant does not harm the tooth next to it. A bridge is cemented on the adjacent teeth with a fake tooth in between. This connection of three teeth makes it very difficult to keep clean. However, with a dental implant, the patient can easily floss and brush the area exactly like a real tooth.

How Long Will It Take?

The duration of the implant procedure depends on the type of treatment. If you are getting a bone graft first, then you may need four to six months or even more before getting the replacements. Usually, it can take three to four months to get the implants. In other cases, a dentist can fit temporary dentures or bridges immediately after the implant but you should ask first if you are suitable for this.

What Is The Followup And Recovery Like For A Dental Implant?

Our patients are usually seen again between the 2nd and 3rd week after surgery. The sutures are usually removed at this point. Another appointment is made 4-6 months after in order to re-evaluate the healing process. With the help of a X-ray, Dr. Jamali will determine if the implant has osseointegrated properly.

Recovery is different for everyone. Take caution with what others say about recovery. recovery from dental implants is different for everyone.

Certain instructions have to be followed in order to have a successful healing.

Do not disturb the wound. Avoid rinsing, spitting, or touching the wound on the day of surgery. There will be a metal healing abutment protruding through the gingival (gum) tissue.

Diet

Drink plenty of fluids. Avoid hot liquids or food the first day. Soft foods and liquids should be eaten on the day of surgery and for 10 days after. The longer you stay on a liquid diet, the less chance of a complication. Return to a normal diet after 10 days unless directed otherwise.

Oral Hygiene

Good oral hygiene is essential for good healing. The night of surgery, use the prescribed Peridex Oral Rinse before bed. The day after surgery, the Peridex should be used twice daily, after breakfast and before bed. Be sure to rinse for at least 30 seconds then spit it out. Warm salt water rinses (a teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water) can also be used a few times a day as well, especially after meals. Brushing your teeth should be resumed the day after. Stay away from the gums. Be gentle initially with brushing the surgical areas.

Antibiotics

We are placing an implant in your jaw. Be sure to take the prescribed antibiotics as directed to help prevent infection.

Activity

Keep physical activities to a minimum immediately following surgery. If you are considering exercise, throbbing or bleeding may occur. If this occurs, you should discontinue exercising. Keep in mind that you are probably not taking normal nourishment. This may weaken you and further limit your ability to exercise.

Wearing Your Prosthesis

Partial dentures, flippers, or full dentures should not be used immediately after surgery and for at least 10 days unless instructed by Dr. Jamali. This is discussed in the pre-operative consultation.

Bleeding

Some bleeding or redness in the saliva is normal for 24 hours. Excessive bleeding (your mouth fills up rapidly with blood) can be controlled by biting on a gauze pad placed directly on the bleeding wound for 30 minutes. If bleeding continues, please call for further instructions.

Swelling

Swelling is a normal occurrence after surgery. To minimize swelling, apply an ice bag or a plastic bag filled with ice on the cheek in the area of surgery. Apply the ice continuously as much as possible for the first 36 hours.

Pain

You should begin taking pain medication as soon as you get a chance prior to local anesthetic wearing off. In our office, we prescribe Ibuprofen which is the best medication for these types of surgeries. If the pain continues, you could add other medications as instructed by Dr. Jamali. For severe pain, the prescribed medication should be taken as directed. Do not take any of the above medication if you are allergic or have been instructed by your doctor not to take it.

Does Insurance Cover Dental Implants?

This depends on your insurance annual limits and coverage. Every insurance company has different coverage. Be sure to ask if there are limits. Also, be aware that the crown (cap) on top of the implant is made by your general dentist and is a separate fee.

What Are The Potential Costs For Dental Implants?

This cost ranges from one individual to another. Some of the important things that Dr. Jamali evaluates in the consultation are the quality of bone, soft tissue and number of implants needed. For example, if there is not enough bone, a bone graft procedure would be needed prior to placing an implant. A surgical fee may include removing the existing tooth and IV sedation if needed.

Make an appointment with Dr. Jamali to find out more about the cost of an implant.

What Are The Potential Risks For A Dental Implant?

The success rate of dental implants is around 93-95%. Insertion of an implant is considered surgery and you would want to have a trained and experienced surgeon to perform this procedure. Dr. Jamali, an oral and maxillofacial surgeon, has extensive training and knowledge about bones, nerves and the muscles of the jaw and face. Because it is a medical procedure, there are a few risks associated with dental implant surgery. Firstly, the site may get infected, but this only happens when there is a lack of proper care. Additionally, an implant procedure can result in nerve damage and subsequently, pain in the natural teeth. This is usually seen when it is done by an inexperienced clinician. Lastly, the nearby structures, such as blood vessels and teeth, may get damaged during the process if the dentist is not careful.

Meet Dr. Majid Jamali

Dr. Jamali, a board-certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon, practices a full scope of oral and maxillofacial surgery with expertise ranging from dental implant surgery and wisdom tooth removal to corrective jaw surgery. This also includes techniques designed to rebuild bone structure with minimal surgical intervention and optimal patient comfort. We can also diagnose and treat facial pain, facial injuries, and fractures. Learn More »

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