Dental implants are a fantastic way to replace missing teeth, that will help improve your ability to eat well, speak better and smile again. Dental implant help replace missing teeth, by acting as an artificial root, which help support your prosthetic tooth/ teeth. With Dental implants, we can help people feel more confident when they're smiling and speaking with others.
We can improve their quality of life, by regaining back their ability to eat well, through improved chewing forces. An added benefit of Dental Implants, is their ability to help maintain the dimension of the jaw bone after tooth extraction, which can help support facial features.
What are the common causes of Missing Teeth?
Failed Root Canal
Severe Gum Disease
Trauma Injury to Teeth
Congenital Missing Teeth
Before the implant surgery can begin, records of your oral condition needs to be assessed first to plan the implant placement surgery. The dentist will examine the health of both your gums, teeth and also the quality of the soft tissue and density of the bone. X-Rays such as Periapical/OPG (2D) and CBCT (3D) imaging will be needed to determine the placement of the implant
Depending on your condition, we may require to go through bone grafting or soft tissue grafts to improve results of the implant placed. The dentist will discuss with you the choice of material that suit your needs. With the recent advancement of technology, we are able to pre-plan the implant placement according to the bone architecture with a surgical stent, which can provide better positioning of the implant with a shorter duration of implant surgery.
During the discussion process, the dentist will provide with you the timeline of the treatment and the appointments required for each procedure that we can expect. The estimated cost of the procedure will also be discussed. As each individual is different, the cost of the type of the implant treatment varies, depending on the treatment you have decided.
Before we can begin with the placement of the Dental Implants, we have to keep the gums and teeth healthy, by removing all the teeth decays and provide gum therapy. This is to provide the implant the best possible results.
Your general well being will also need to be considered, conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, blood clotting disorder, etc, needs to be addressed with your Family Doctor/ Specialist before the Implant placement. Smoking can also play a negative role in this treatment and have to reduced or cut off if possible. (Nicotine replacements such as vaping can be considered)
Implant Placement Surgery
The development and advancements of dental implants, have made them more predictable and aesthetically pleasing to the eye. Most implant placements surgeries can be done in a single appointment, and will require a period of time (Three to Six Month) for Dental Implant to merge with the screw by having the bone growing around it. This process is known as Osseointegration. In some scenarios, some grafting of the bone or gum tissues will be needed, prior to the placement for more predictable results.
Once osseointegration has completed, the prosthetic crown, bridge or denture can be fitted to the dental implant by the dentist. There are however, some rare instances where the osseointegration may fail, where the implant will need to removed and re-inserted at another time. Dental implants are also recommended to be placed for adult patients and above for, as the jaw bone will continue to grow rapidly in the adolescence, affecting the aesthetic results and the ability to clean the implant.
Implant Placement Procedural Steps:
Pre-Implant Placement Surgery (GBR/ Sinus Lifting/ Soft Tissue Surgery): Before the implant placement surgery begins, the dentist will need to assess the need for this step. This is to provide the implant with better aesthetics, support and also ability to clean the implant for better survivability. The dentist will look through the CBCT Radiograph to determine the amount of bone needed for the implant, as well as inspecting the soft tissue (gums) surrounding the implant area. If there is not a need for this step, the dentist will proceed with the implant placement surgery.
Implant Placement Surgery: Using the CBCT radiography, the dentist will determine the ideal location of the implant, while also avoiding vital jaw structures, such as the inferior alveolar nerve, mental nerve, sinuses, etc. A pilot drill will be used as the baseline for the preceding drills to the predetermined size. Then, the Dental Implant will be screwed into place with a specialised motor. Once inserted, we will check for its initial stability with a torquing wrench before we stitch the wound. Depending on the situation needed, the implant will either be covered with the gums, or placed with a Healing Abutment or Temporary Crown.
Healing Abutment/ Temporary Crown: Both the Healing Abutment and Temporary Crown can only be done if the Dental Implant has a good Primary Stability. The Healing Abutment is a structure fitted to the dental implant, used to condition the gum tissues around it, to shorten the treatment time for moulding of the dental implant crown. If in the scenario, where the Dental Implant is located at the Front Teeth, the implant used will require a Temporary Implant Crown attached to it for a better aesthetic result. Allowing you to smile widely and confidently, however, it's recommended to only chew soft food with it until osseointegration has completed within 3-6 months.
Recovery, Follow-up & Review
After the placement of the Dental Implant has been complete, you will be experiencing some swelling and bleeding of the Dental Implant site. The dentist will provide you some medication to help alleviate the discomfort and improve the outcome of the treatment. It's also important to follow the steps below:
- Good Oral Hygiene
- Stop smoking & alcohol
- Bite Gauze to Stop Bleeding for the next 1 hour
- Soft Diet for the next 48 hours
- No hot food/ beverages
- No Physical Activity for the next 48 hours
- No drinking through straw (If Sinus Lifting is Involved) for the next 7 days
- Do not blow nose (If Sinus Lifting is Involved) for the next 7 days
A follow-up session will be planned for the coming weeks to help remove stitches and observe the healing process of the implant site. If the implant is covered by the gums, a healing abutment will be placed after osseointegration has been completed. If not, the impression of the implant will be done to proceed with the fabrication of the Dental Implant Crown, which will be expected to take a few weeks.
After the cementation of the implant, it's important to take care of the hygiene of the gums around the implant, as they are protecting the implant from potential bacterial invasion to the implant which may lead to Peri-Implantitis. Hence, it's recommended to get your teeth checked and cleaned once every 6 months, to closely monitor it's condition.
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