Why should I replace my missing tooth?
In addition to compromised aesthetics, gaps left when teeth are lost can cause drifting and tilting of adjacent teeth, which in turn can lead to decay, gum disease, and jaw problems. Tooth loss can also cause shrinkage of the jaw bone, leading to a prematurely aged appearance. The loss of a tooth, therefore, has both aesthetic and functional consequences. Lost teeth are ideally replaced, and dental implants are usually the best replacement option.
What are my other options to replace my tooth/teeth?
Missing teeth can also be replaced with dental bridges or full or partial dentures.
A bridge consists of an artificial tooth/teeth which is/are attached to adjacent teeth with restorations called crowns. This involves drilling of often healthy adjacent teeth and it results in three or more teeth being stuck together. In contrast, the placement of a dental implant does not involve adjacent teeth, and does not result in teeth being joined together.
Full/partial dentures are removable acrylic devices that can replace many teeth at once. Dentures are often uncomfortable and can move or even fall out during talking and eating, causing considerable embarrassment to the wearer. In contrast, implant-retained crowns, bridges and dentures do not move and are consequently very comfortable.
What if there is not enough bone?
Successful implant placement does require a certain amount of bone in which to locate the fixture. In the absence of sufficient bone, augmentation or grafting procedures are usually possible. In very rare cases a lack of bone can make implant placement impossible.
Why is titanium used in the jawbone?
Titanium is an extremely biologically friendly material, i.e. gum and bone bond well to this. Once placed in the jaw bone it becomes a permanent replacement for the missing tooth’s root structure. Titanium dental implants have been used successfully for fifty years with extremely high success rates. Implants made from other materials (e.g. zirconia), are available, however, their long-term success rates are unknown, hence we prefer to use ‘tried and tested’ titanium.
Does the implant surgery hurt?
Local anesthesia ensures that the implant placement procedure is pain-free. Post-operative discomfort is usually minor and can be settled with oral painkillers. Most of our patients report that they were much more comfortable following the procedure than they had anticipated, and most patients return to work the same day.
Can I have sedation?
Yes. We offer oral or IV sedation for anxious clients.
Will there be any swelling after the implant procedure?
Most patients experience little or no swelling. Any swelling that does occur usually goes away one or two days after the procedure.
How many dental visits are required?
The number of dental visits required, and the time frame often depend on the circumstances of the case. Simple cases can be completed quickly in two visits, whereas more complex cases can require a number of appointments over several months.
Will my new teeth look natural?
Yes. Dr Sauer and Dr Worthington are experts in their field and aim for aesthetic perfection with their implant treatments. Ideally your implant-retained crown or bridge should be indistinguishable from your natural teeth. To see examples of the doctors’ work, click on our before and after galleries for single tooth replacement, multiple teeth replacement or all teeth replacement.
How long will I have a gap?
Most of our patients never have to face the public without their teeth! With our ’same day teeth’ procedure we can remove failing teeth and replace them with implant-retained crowns in one visit. If this is not possible we place a temporary tooth in position until your implant crown is ready.
Will I be able to chew with the same force and pressure as currently?
Yes. Studies have shown that chewing efficiency improves significantly after treatment with dental implants. Following a brief adaptation period your chewing efficiency will be comparable to that of natural teeth. Many of our patients who have previously worn dentures report that after having implants placed they are able to eat foods that were previously impossible to manage.
How do I care for my implants?
Your new teeth must be cared for and examined regularly, just like your own natural teeth. We recommend brushing and flossing as directed and regular visits to our hygienist for checks.
How long will dental implants last?
Long-term studies document a success rate of dental implants of over 95%. At Implant Solutions our documented long-term success rate is over 98%. Success rates of treatment are lower in smokers, patients with medical complications, and patients who do not care for their implants as advised.
Will dental implants work for me?
Anyone who is missing one or more teeth due to injury, disease, or tooth decay may be a candidate for dental implants. In most patients, dental implants are the best option for tooth replacement. They offer a unique advantage over bridges in that they are freestanding, so their placement does not affect adjacent teeth in any way.
Dental implants are not a suitable tooth replacement option in patients under the age of eighteen years, some medically compromised patients, and patients with insufficient space or bone to enable placement.
Is old age a problem?
Occasionally, older patients express concern that their age may prevent them from enjoying the benefits of dental implants. However, health is more of a determining factor than age. If you’re healthy enough to have a tooth extracted, you’re probably healthy enough to receive dental implants. We have successfully treated patients up to ninety-seven years of age with implants, vastly improving their quality of life.
What are ‘mini-implants’?
‘Mini-implants’ are small diameter implants that have become recently available in the marketplace and are considerably less expensive than ’standard’ implants. In our experience, mini-implants have a very low success rate and we consequently do not use them. We have successfully treated many patients who have had failed ‘mini-implant’ treatment in the past. Although we do not use mini-implants, in appropriate circumstances we are able to offer patients budget-friendly hybrid implants that bridge the gap between mini and standard implants, and have an acceptable success rate.