Dental Implant FAQ
Dental implants are used to restore missing teeth. Dental implants can be used to replace either single teeth or multiple teeth with implant-supported bridges or overdentures. Taking the place of tooth roots, dental implants are a secure, long-lasting, and stable option.
Am I a Candidate for Dental Implants?
Some factors may affect whether a dental implant procedure is successful. Different factors will be looked at carefully to ensure your suitability for this oral restoration.
||Health - Good general health is required for a dental implant procedure. Some long term health issues may preclude you from having dental implants. For example, if you have a blood clotting condition or a chronic disease such as diabetes. Diabetes will have to be well-controlled before you will be considered a good candidate for the procedure.
||Pregnancy - Dental implants are a safe procedure, but you will need to have x-rays to assess the viability of your jaw. Although digital x-rays of the mouth have a very low dose of radiation, it is not worth the risk of harming your baby unnecessarily. You can seek oral surgery after you give birth.
||Smoking - Smoking is one of the biggest risk factors affecting the integration of dental implants. Nutrients and oxygen are delivered in the blood to the site where the dental implants are placed. Smoking diminishes blood supply, which means that the essential nutrients required to fight infection, as well as to help cells grow and repair themselves, does not get to where it is needed. If the tissues around your dental implants are compromised, then your implant may well fail and have to be removed.
||Age - Although there is no maximum age limit for the placement of dental implants, there is a minimum age requirement. Dental implants are rarely placed in anyone below the age of 18 because this can affect the implant as the bones are still growing.
||Bruxism - If you suffer from tooth grinding or clenching, this may be an issue that affects the health of dental implants. This places undue stress on them which may ultimately damage them.
||Bone Loss - Although some bone loss may not preclude you from getting dental implants, if you have extensive bone loss throughout the jaw then it is highly likely that you are not a good candidate. However, we can discuss this further after you come to see us.
Will I Need a Bone Grafting Procedure?
It is likely that you can undergo a bone grafting procedure to help build up the bone in your jaw to prepare you for dental implants.
Although a bone graft sounds as though it is a major procedure, it is actually relatively minor and is quite common. Making an incision into the gum to expose the part of the jawbone where a graft is required, the grafting material is placed into the bone. The incision is stitched closed, and the area is allowed to heal. During this time your jawbone creates new bone around the grafting material, helping to rebuild the bone.
Bone grafts may be taken from another area of your body, from an animal, or more commonly in modern dentistry are formed from a synthetic material called hydroxyapatite.
Bone grafting is a procedure to treat bone loss in the jaw—usually, so that dental implants can be successfully placed, but also in reconstructive surgery after cancer treatments, injuries, and birth defects.
An implant-supported denture is a revolutionary procedure to secure a complete arch of teeth securely. A complete arch of teeth is attached to dental implants which are embedded into the jaw.
For an arch of the teeth on the bottom jaw, a minimum of two dental implants is required, whereas for the upper jaw it is four. The implants are permanent and secure, but the replacement teeth, which are also known as overdentures or snap-in dentures, are removable and are easily snapped on and off as many times as you like.
The dental implants provide stability so the overdenture does not move or slip but being able to remove it will allow for a thorough cleaning, particularly around the dental implants, which is essential for maintaining gum and bone health and preserving your dental implants for a lifetime. No longer will you need to worry about your dentures falling out as you eat, talk, or smile and you can carry on with these activities in complete confidence.
Permanent tooth restorations can be placed immediately after the dental implants have been inserted. This is unlike traditional implants where a period of several months is required for the implant and bone to fuse.
What is the All-on-4® Treatment Concept?
The All-on-4 Treatment Concept replaces all of your teeth in the upper, lower, or both jaws, with just four dental implants. There are two implants on the top of your mouth and two on the bottom.
The All-on-4 surgical procedure is reasonably straightforward. However, the success of the procedure is due to the meticulous planning beforehand, because the implants must be placed in specific locations in the jawbone to create a three-dimensional trapezoid force that provides the greatest amount of stability to hold a full arch of teeth.
An All-on-4 procedure involves three stages. Stage one is the consultation and planning stage. Our implantologist will go through your medical history thoroughly, examine your mouth and take 3D scans of your jaw to assess whether you are a good candidate and whether your jawbone is viable enough to receive the implants. Stage two is treatment day when your dental implants are placed, and where any remaining teeth are extracted.
If you have tooth extractions a lighter restoration is affixed to your dental implants to allow the tissues to heal after the teeth have been removed. A final, permanent tooth restoration will be affixed after a few months, in the third and final stage of the procedure.
To find out more about the different types of dental implants and their many benefits to restoring your missing teeth, call us at Greater Charlotte Oral and Facial Surgery at (980) 332-7990 today!