FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Does it hurt to get an implant?
Most patients who have had implants placed report the procedure as easy and relatively pain-free. In cases when no tooth extraction is involved, a situation where there are no nerve endings within the bone, the procedure is painless.
How long will I have to go without a tooth?
When a tooth is lost, there are many different reasons. Accordingly, a tooth may be immediately temporized or worst case, it may take up to six months before a new tooth can be received. Accordingly, many people opt to wear a temporary. Temporaries or provisionals come in various forms, the most common include flippers, Essix (Invisalign-type) retainers and bonded provisionals.
Can I sleep through the procedure?
Many people are understandably anxious about implants, but most implant placements are very easy surgeries. Even so, many of our patients would prefer to “be in another place.” One way to relieve anxiety is to take an oral sedative, such as valium or other shorter acting drug, which provides an overall sense of calm.
Frequently Used Terminology
Implant: The implant body itself is a medical-grade titanium (or ceramic) screw/anchor inserted into the jaw, taking the place of a missing root. Although there are many types of implants today, the most common are bone-level, root form implants.
Crown: The implant supported crown, or tooth, is either cemented on top of the abutment (see below) in the mouth or it is attached to the abutment outside of the mouth. Then, together, the crown and abutment are screwed into place on top of the implant.
Abutment: The abutment is a connection between the crown, or tooth, and the implant that connects by a screw. There are two common types of connections: stock and custom abutments. A stock abutment is the most common type and is least expensive. But, because of its one-size-fits-all solution, it has certain limitations. The custom abutment, on the other hand, is superior as it best replicates the form of natural teeth, providing superior retention along with trapping less food.
Locator Attachment: In a case when an implant is not replacing a tooth, but rather supporting a denture or partial denture, a locator attachment is used. A locator abutment allows a denture to snap into place on top of the denture in order to increase stability.
Bone Graft: When teeth are lost, bone begins to shrink. Often extensive bone loss can result in the impossibility of an implant being placed without a bone graft. Traditionally, bone grafts were taken from a donor site, such as a hip or another part of the jaw It would then be ground and replaced in that same person. However, today, donor bone is harvested and then processed to produce a material that is safe, economic and comfortable.
3-D CBCT: Precise placement of dental implants is critical for long term success and esthetic outcomes. A CBCT scan is a 3 dimensional x-ray that allows the doctor to determine whether or not a potential site is viable for an implant (or if the site may first require grafting). Also, it allows the practitioner to safely place an implant, avoiding vital structures, which include the lower alveolar nerve, the maxillary sinus and other teeth.
Surgical Guide: A surgical guide is used to place an implant in a precise location, thus achieving a safe, specific and predictable outcome. This is made possible by utilizing information from a CBCT scan (see above) along with the physical structures of a patient. Surgical guides are also useful to expedite implant procedures, particularly when multiple teeth are involved. Guides enable “flawless,” minimally invasive and almost entirely painless procedures.