At Dyce Dental practice we are proud to offer Dental Implants. Gone are the days where losing teeth meant removable appliances were the only means to close gaps.
Dental implants are used to replace missing or damaged teeth to be extracted. Insertion of an implant is done by making an incision in the gum and then placing a small screw, which can be made from various materials, generally titanium.
In the simplest terms and as it is generally understood, dental implants are artificial roots placed into the jaw which then are crowned or bridged.
Prior to the implant procedure
The implant procedure itself is a three to four stage program that will be discussed with any potential patient outlining the costs and stages proceeding the initial consultation.
Beginning with the consultation you will meet the dentist whom will perform the surgery, the condition of the jaws will be assessed for suitability and the treatment planned using X-ray films, photographs and models of the teeth. It may be necessary to take a CT scan of the jaw to check the amount and position of the available bone. The final decision whether or not to proceed with implant placement will be made at the time of surgery and will be determined by the quality and quantity of the jawbone.
An important nerve runs in the lower jaw that supplies the sensation to the lower lip and skin of the chin. Obviously the X-ray is important in determining the position of this nerve avoiding the slight possibility of injury which could result in altered sensation.
In the upper jaw it is important to ascertain the size and position of the air sinuses and nasal cavities prior to implant insertion. Occasionally the implants may have to be placed slightly into the sinus or nasal cavity. Usually this is not noticeable but there may be a slight nasal discharge with a small amount of temporary bleeding. The implants may be placed under the gum and so will not be visible in the mouth.
The implant placement
Post immediate dental implant placement is insertion of the implant into a region of the mouth where the tooth or teeth have previously been removed or have been missing for some time.
Implant treatment entails the above insertion method and the time required to place them will depend on the number of implants being inserted and their position in the mouth. Every effort is made to keep the time to a minimum so as not to jeopardise the final result, the timings will be discussed with you (the patient) at the initial consultation.
After the implant placement
After the procedure there will be minor discomfort and swelling. The degree of swelling will depend upon the number of implants placed and whether or not additional surgical procedures were carried out. Occasionally along with the swelling there may also be slight bruising of the skin overlying the area which will fade in around a week. If you are a smoker or have a pre-existing medical condition which affects soft tissue healing, the amount of swelling may be greater. The gum tissue in the region where the implants have been placed may change appearance or colour and take on a white appearance for a short time (generally two weeks) after surgery. After around a week when the soft tissue has healed the sutures will be removed and your dentist will then have a quick review of the healing process. After this stage the implant/s will then be left undisturbed for at least three months to integrate with the jaw. During this period the top of the implant may show through the gum slightly and metal may become visible. This is normally not cause for concern but if it is to occur, contact the practice to have the area checked.
Making the new teeth
After a 3/6-month period a second surgical procedure may be necessary to expose the implants and check for firm bony attachment. In the event that an implant has failed to take (integrate), it can simply be removed, as it will not be attached to bone. Once the implants have been uncovered and are firm, a post or abutment will be connected which will be used to support either a provisional denture or bridge. This intermediate stage will last approximately two months allowing time for the gums to settle and form a tight attachment to the implant abutment. During this time the abutment may become visible as the gum shrinks slightly exposing the underlying metal. The final teeth will be made to cover as much of the exposed metallic areas possible improving the final appearance. Impressions will be necessary prior to construction of the final restoration.