Dental implants serve as replacements for lost teeth due to a variety of reasons. The dental implant procedure is easier than a lot of people might think.
The dental implant procedure
The first thing in the dental implant procedure is to create an individual dental implant surgery plan customized to the patient’s needs. This step requires a panoramic radiograph or a personal visit at the dentist. It is important that dentist provides sufficient and accurate information about the surgery, since most patients lack dental implant information.When it comes to a dental implant surgery the dentist has to take into consideration numerous aspects. A dental implant surgery plan must be composed with great care to details, such as the patient’s state of health and possible risks.
Patients usually have several options in regard to the type and logistical manner of dental implant insertion. After reaching a decision, the patient and the dentist must set a date for the first step of the dental implant procedure.
Due to the loss of roots the artificial teeth have to be anchored to the implants inserted into the gum. The dental implant ensures the stability of the teeth, although the flexibility of the teeth is restricted. The dental implant procedure itself isn’t painful for the patient.
The dental implant has the shape of a screw and is made of titanium, since this material is the most compatible with the human body. The dentist inserts the screws during a surgical intervention with the help of local anesthesia. Depending on the needs and wants of the patient the surgery can occur under general anesthetics. However, the most used method of anesthesia is the local anesthesia. This also proves that the dental implant surgery isn’t painful at all.
First, a certain jaw bone segment needs to be laid open for the insertion of the dental implant. Therefore the dentist has to make a small cut into the mucous membrane creating the so called dental implant bed (which requires a certain width and depth). After the insertion of dental implant, the gum is sewed up.
Duration of a tooth implant procedure
The duration of the dental implant procedure depends on the type of the procedure. There are two different types of dental implant procedures, the two-stage and the one stage methods (with immediate impact on the teeth).
With a two-stage dental implant procedure, there is a healing phase after the insertion of the dental implant. This lasts between 3 to 6 months after the surgery. Obviously, patients who opt for the two stage surgery receive a temporary teeth replacement for the healing period.
After the healing phase a second, but smaller surgical procedure follows to place the abutment on the implant. There are three different variations of artificial teeth: a dental crown, dental bridge and various types of dental prosthesis.
With the one-stage surgery method, the dentist fixes the artificial teeth immediately after the surgery.
After the surgery, possible complaints can occur, but usually there is no severe pain. Any eventual complaints can be mitigated with painkillers. Depending on the patient, postoperative swellings and bruises can occur, which usually last 2 or 3 days. The patient should keep a cold compress on their face to ease the swelling. After the surgery the patient receives important instructions with regard to the healing of the wounds. The following step is that the patient has to familiarize with these new regulations for their oral hygiene. It is important for the patient to get a professional oral hygiene treatment every six months. Furthermore, the inserted dental implants need to be examined every six months by a dentist.
Dental implant infection
Usually, with the help of thorough preparations and execution of a surgery, the risks are minimal. Possible risks, such as the dental implant infection (also called peri-implant infection) can emerge for a variety of reasons. Besides the lack of oral hygiene there is a wide range of causes that can lead to dental implant infection:
- osteoporosis or parodontitis
- irregular dental check-up visits
- insufficient dental care and implant care
- the lack of healing of the implant in the jaw bone
The peri-implant infection is the infection of the gum. It starts around the dental implant itself and can expand to the jaw bone. In the early stage it is called muscositis. At this stage the infection is only present in the soft tissue (the gum) that surrounds the dental implant. Of course, it is better to recognize such an infection in its earlier stages. So if the patient notices the symptoms of a gum infection (for example a certain pain to the implant and red coloration of the gum) they should contact their dentist immediately.
If the infection reaches the peri-implant stage, it becomes irreversible and can even lead to the loss of the dental implant. One has to pay attention to these symptoms, since a neglected dental implant infection can lead to bone resorption in the jaw.