Dental implants have seen an enormous rise in popularity since the 1990s. Dental Implant is now the gold standard in tooth replacement therapy. Of all available tooth replacement therapies, dental implant best mimics the form and function of natural dentition. The implant restores teeth while providing a hygienic environment, and minimizes unnecessary damage to adjacent teeth.
There are two primary implant materials, titanium, and zirconia. Let’s just say, 99% of the time, we prefer a titanium implant over zirconia implants. True titanium allergy is extremely rare (<1%), zirconia implants have a higher fracture potential and much less versatile when it comes to implant attachments. Some patients might not realize, but Zirconia is a transition metal in and of itself.
That being said, implants are not for everybody. I advise against implants for the following population groups.
- Boys under 20 years of age, and girls under 16 years of age. Teenagers are constantly going through growth spurts in their bones, generally speaking, bones are stabilized in boys around the age of 20, and 16 for girls. Early implant placement can cause implants migration into an unfavourable position, most of the time ending up in implant removal and replacement.
- Patients with uncontrolled diabetes and smokers. Uncontrolled diabetes and smokers have compromised wound healing of the facial/jaw bone. Bone healing (and destruction) around a dental implant can be very unpredictable in this patient group.
- Patients on bisphosphonates or those who had radiation therapy to the head/neck. This patient group has a severe deficiency of bone healing. Implant placement can lead to bone death, which requires surgical removal.
So, you’ve decided to get the procedure done, what to do on the day of the surgery?
- Take the blood pressure medicine if you have any.
- Tell us if there’s any change to your medication list or medical history.
- Take your antibiotics one hour prior to the appointment if instructed so by MD or dentist.
Most implant procedures are done with minimal discomfort, usually, bone is prepared with a series of drills, and the implant is placed within two hours. There are times when the dentist needs to facilitate bone growth (guided bone regeneration) or add space to the upper back teeth region (sinus lift) in order to place implants. In those cases, you can expect to have blood drawn.
Post Op Care
90% of the patients leave our office without any discomfort. We place dental implants in a sterile environment.
- Each patient is dispensed an antiseptic mouthwash to be applied to the surgical site daily.
- Make sure to let your dentist know if there’s any pain or swelling post-surgery, as antibiotics or steroid medication may be indicated.
- I also found some homoeopathic medicine to be helpful in reducing bruising/swelling, such as this one on amazon.
- Don’t brush the surgical site for 2 weeks, as it may disrupt any stitches or bone material.
- soft food diet for two weeks.
The implant is at its weakest about 3 weeks after placement, bone typically takes 3-4 months to heal around the implant. Make sure now to
Lastly, like with any surgical procedure, there’s always a risk of failure. Dental implants integrate into the bone about 95% of the time. At our office, we replace failed implants up to 1-year post-surgery.