1. How will I know if implants can be done in my case?
The implant exam and consultation will evaluate your mouth with a clinical exam and an x-ray exam in order to determine your potential for implants. This exam will also be where you can discuss what type of implant replacement will work best for you.The x-ray exam will be able to show how much bone is present in the locations where you will need implants placed. The x-ray won't be able to accurately show bone density.
2. How long can implants last?
Different long term research studies have shown that implants which have been placed in good bone can last for a patient's lifetime. However, some implants can fail if the quality of the bone wasn't good, if there was too much bite stress for too few implants or implants which weren't long enough for the demands of a given case.
3. Why is there a 3-6 month waiting period before the implants can be built upon?
There is the need for the implants to attach to the bone by a process which was originally described as osseointegration. The length of time for this waiting period varies with the quality of bone that is present where the implants were placed.
4. Is there any pain when the implants are surgically placed?
There should be no pain when the implants are placed. In most cases, a local anesthetic (like novocaine) is all that is needed.
5. Is there any pain after the anesthetic has worn off?
Patients have feeling which ranges from discomfort to pain. The variation depends on the number of implants placed, their location as well as a patient's tolerance for pain.
6. If I wore a full or partial denture before the implant surgery, can I wear it afterwards?
Post-surgical swelling may interfere with wearing a full or partial denture immediately after the surgery or until after the swelling has gone done. Each case varies and therefore, this should be discussed with your implant surgeon.
7. Once I have implants placed and built upon, do I have to clean around them?
Yes! If you don't clean around the implants, they can get gum disease. Gum disease
can lead to the failure of the implants if it is not treated before too much bone has been destroyed.
8. If an implant or implants fail, can additional implants be placed?
When implants fail, there will be some bone loss which accompanies the loss of the implant or implants. If there is still adequate bone left, additional implants can be done. However, there are cases where additional implants can't be done after previously placed implants have failed due to the fact that there is not enough bone present anywhere which would allow for more implants.
9. How do you know how many implants you need?
Each case varies regarding how many implants are needed for the demands of replacing the missing teeth. If the implant surgeon is limited regarding the length of implants that can be placed, more implants will be needed. The length if the implants is determined by how much bone you have present. A good consideration is to have enough implants built upon that if one implant fails, there are enough implants left which will prevent the failure of your whole implant reconstruction. "An implant failure should not mean a case failure".
10. How will I clean around the implants?
The cleaning demands vary depending on the type of implant reconstruction that you had. You definitely need to clean daily around the implants. Brushing with a toothbrush, as as well as flossing are important. There may be the need for a prescription mouthrinse (chlorhexidine) which can further help you keep your implants healthy. Electric toothbrushes can also be helpful for cleaning around implants. Other cleaning aids may be recommended where the specific needs of your case require them.
11. Do I need to have a professional cleaning by the dentist or hygienist?
Yes. It is important to not only have a professional cleaning done around the implants, but you also should have periodic implant check-ups with your implant surgeon regarding the health of the implants.
****** The above questions and answers are to serve as a guide for furthering your discussion with your implant surgeon. Cases do vary and only your implant surgeon can properly and accurately discuss the considerations of your specific case.