A dental implant
is a titanium cylinder of varying configurations implanted in the
bone of the jaw, simulating a tooth root, to which a dental crown
or retention device can be attached.
- Generally, there is a better than 95% chance
that the dental implant will integrate successfully
into the bone of the jaw and be strong enough to support teeth
or a retention device under function. If the implant does
not integrate, the implant will remain loose in the bone and will
require removal. Once the failed implant is removed, a new
implant can be placed without an increased risk of failure.
- Additional risk of treatment failure can be expected
in patients with uncontrolled diabetes, patients who use tobacco
products, and in patients who have received radiation treatment
to the jaws in the course of treatment for head and neck cancer.
- If the tooth being removed is a non-infected,
single rooted tooth, often the tooth can be removed and the implant
placed at the same appointment. This shortens the time from
tooth extraction to implant restoration.
- When a dental implant cannot
be placed at the same time the tooth is removed, a two to three
month healing period is required before the implant can be placed.
- Occasionally, there is not enough bone to support
an implant at the desired site of implant treatment. A bone
grafting procedure may be necessary prior to (or at the same time
as) implant placement. A bone grafting procedure may add
to the time required for treatment completion.
- After the implant is placed, three to four months
of undisturbed healing is necessary before the implant(s) can
support the new tooth (teeth) or retention device.
- Once the healing period has passed, an abutment
will be placed to extend the implant above the gum tissue so that
a dental crown or denture retention device may be fabricated by
your restorative dentist.
- Generally, teeth being replaced in the esthetic
(or visible) region of the dental arch will require custom fabricated
abutments and temporary crowns at a slightly increased cost compared
to teeth in the non-esthetic (not visible) regions which can be
restored with stock abutments at a lesser cost. Implants
being used to support a removable denture generally will require
- If custom abutments and temporary crowns are
required, a precise dental impression will be taken at some point
during the healing period. The custom abutments and temporary
crowns will be placed at the end of the healing period and be
brought into function for a period of time, after which your restorative
dentist will complete the permanent dental restoration.
Once the dental
implant is integrated into bone and restored to function
successfully, the longevity of the dental implant is indefinite.
However, the dental implant can be lost in the same fashion that
a tooth can be lost, i.e. via gum or bone infection or trauma.
The mechanical aspects of the implant restoration can wear and fatigue
with time and require replacement or repair, as with any dental
restoration. Should the implant need to be removed, it can
be removed much like a tooth and after an appropriate time interval,