After Implant Placement

What Can I Use For Teeth While The Implants Heal?

Many options are available, and they are tailored to your specific requirements. If you need a replacement tooth while the implants are healing, temporary removable teeth or a temporary bridge can be made. If all of your teeth are missing, we can usually modify your present complete denture or make you a new temporary denture. If you would prefer non-removable teeth during the healing phase, temporary transitional implants usually can be placed along with the permanent implants, and temporary teeth may be made and inserted the same day. Depending on your particular situation, some implants can be placed and “loaded” immediately. This means a temporary or permanent replacement tooth can be placed on, or shortly after, the day the implant is placed.

middle-aged man and woman with good teeth

What Are The Potential Problems?

Although it is natural to be concerned about the pain that may be caused by these procedures, most patients do not experience severe or significant post-operative pain. Pain medication and antibiotics will be prescribed for you to make your recovery as easy as possible. Occasionally, some people develop post-operative infections that require additional antibiotic treatment. Even though great care is taken to place the implant precisely, occasionally adjacent teeth are injured in the placement process. In addition, there is a chance that the nerve in the lower jaw, which provides sensation to your lower lip and chin, may be affected. If you are missing quite a lot of bone, it might be difficult to place an implant without infringing on the nerve space. Although we take great care to avoid this nerve, occasionally it is irritated during the procedure, resulting in tingling, numbness or a complete lack of sensation in your lip, chin or tongue. Usually these altered sensations will resolve within time, but they can be permanent and/or painful. If you notify us of post-operative numbness as soon as possible, it will allow us to manage your care in the most appropriate way.

How Long Will The Implants Last?

Implants usually last a long time. When patients are missing all of their teeth, long-term studies (more than 30 years) show an 80 to 90 percent success rate. For patients missing one or several teeth, recent studies show a success rate of greater than 95 percent, which compares favorably with other areas in the body that receive implant replacement (such as hips or knees). However, if one of your dental implants either doesn’t heal properly or loosens after a period of time, you may need to have it removed. After the site heals (or on occasion at the time of removal), another implant usually can be placed.

When Are The Replacement Teeth Attached To The Implant?

The replacement teeth are usually attached to the implant when adequate healing has occurred and your jawbone is firmly fused to the implant. Depending on a variety of factors, it may be possible to begin this phase of your treatment immediately or shortly after implant placement. Your surgeon will review the most appropriate treatment sequence and timing for your particular situation.

The other work required to complete your treatment is complex. Most of the work involved is actually making the new teeth before they are placed. Your appointments with your restoring dentist are more comfortable than previous methods of tooth replacement. Usually, this process can be performed without local anaesthesia or “freezing”.

Your restorative treatment involves specialized impressions taken by your dentist that allow the production of a replica of your mouth and implants. Bite records are also taken to show the relationship of your upper and lower jaw. Using this information your dentist will make abutments that attach your replacement teeth to your implants. Various types of abutments exist. Frequently, these are prefabricated abutments. Sometimes, custom abutments must be made either from gold or tooth coloured ceramic to optimize your outcome. Your restoring dentist will advise you as to the most appropriate technique for your situation.

The number of appointments and the amount of time required is different for each patient. The work must be completed with great precision and attention to detail. With one or a few teeth missing, this could involve as little as three appointments. Your restoring dentist will need time between appointments to complete the necessary laboratory work. It is most beneficial that you keep all of your scheduled appointments with your restoring dentist.

If your final restoration is a removable prosthesis you will need to come for a few office appointments with your restoring dentist over the subsequent months. Adjustments may be necessary to the prosthesis itself or to the clips that retain the implant-retained denture.

How Do I Clean My New Teeth?

Like natural teeth, it is vital that you clean implant-supported restorations daily with toothbrushes, floss and other recommended aids like mouthwash. Regular visits to your restoring dentist several times each year for hygiene and maintenance are crucial. Dentures, crowns and bridges are made from acrylics, metals and ceramics. These materials are subject to wear and tear over time and will need maintenance. This could include repair, clip replacement, reline, screw tightening and other adjustments.

Will One Doctor Do Everything?

The oral and maxillofacial surgeon will perform the surgical placement of the implant and any other related, necessary procedures. The surgeon will also monitor healing and determine the timing for progress to the restorative phase. Your general dentist, or restoring dentist, will provide the temporary and permanent replacement teeth. The specialist and the restoring dentist work together in planning your care. Occasionally, other dental specialists may be involved as well.

How Much Does All Of This Cost?

Every effort will be made to give you an accurate estimate of all the expenses involved in placing the implants and making the replacement teeth. The doctors at Fountain View Oral Facial and Implant Surgery will provide you with estimates for the surgical phases of your treatment. You should speak to your restorative dentist about that aspect of the treatment plan and anticipated costs.

In some cases there are initial charges for the diagnostic preparatory work, including potential study models, special x-rays (cone beam CT scan) and the fabrication of a surgical template, which is used to ensure optimal positioning of the implants.

Dental implant surgery is not insured by OHIP. Private dental insurance coverage varies considerably. Preoperative estimates will be provided and, when possible, submitted electronically to assist you in understanding the ultimate costs.

Each patient is unique and it is not possible to discuss every option and every contingency for treatment outcome. This information is intended to help you understand the general treatment options available to you. Our surgeons and staff will endeavor to make sure you understand your specific treatment options. The surgeons and staff at Fountain View Oral Facial and Implant Surgery are happy to answer any questions you may have about your treatment.