The dental implant procedure brings welcome tooth replacement to people who are missing teeth, but we find there are a lot of misconceptions about dental implants. Today we would like to clarify some of them, and shed a bit more light on this very important dental procedure.
Dental Implants Aren’t Overnight Solutions
One of the most common questions we are asked about dental implant surgery is how long does a dental implant take. A lot of patients think it might be an immediate replacement, but actually the procedure can take many months to be completed. Depending on the surgeries that you need, you might only spend one or two hours being operated on in total, but there are other small procedures that will have to be completed for your dental implant surgery to be successful.
How does a dental implant procedure work?
Depending on your circumstances, your milestones might look something like this:
- Initial consultation
- Bone grafting (if required)
- Placement of the dental implant
- Placement of the abutment (if required)
- Placement of the dental crown
Not everyone will go through each of the stages listed above, but importantly, each of the stages needs to be fully completed before you can move onto the next one.
This is significant because some people may need a few months to heal properly between each stage of their procedure. This makes it very difficult to establish how long your procedure will take, but your dentist will discuss it with you when you are reviewing your treatment plan.
Not Everyone Needs A Bone Graft
When people hear the words dental implant surgery, they often think they will need a bone graft – and become anxious about it. A bone graft is not inevitable for everyone who has dental implant surgery. Bone grafting is only required in instances where a patient doesn’t have enough jaw bone to support an implant.
This usually happens if a tooth has been missing for a very long time, or if you have a degenerative disease. If you need a bone graft, your dentist will discuss it with you.
Sometimes a bone graft is a procedure by itself (as when there is a lot of jaw bone missing), at other times a mini bone graft can be performed just before the implant is placed.
It’s Impossible To Quote Dental Implant Surgery Without A Consultation
Unlike products and commodities, dental implant surgery is very patient-specific, and procedures are always different. What happens, how long it takes and the associated costs all depend on the particulars of the person being treated. Sure, you might be able to find some averages, but it’s dangerous to budget on averages unless you have been evaluated by your dentist first.
It is possible to replace an entire arch without using single placements.
Patients who are cost-conscious sometimes worry about opting for dental implants when they are missing multiple teeth, because of the cost factor, thinking the procedure would be completely unaffordable.
Thanks to the all-on-4 dental treatment, patients can now look forward to replacing an entire arch of teeth making use of only four implants as anchor points. Another major advantage of the procedure is the fact that patients who have thin jaw bones are candidates for this treatment, because the implants are placed at an angle and need a lot less jaw to be supported by.
Dental Implant Surgery Must Be Done In Hospital
Many implant procedures can be completed in the dentist’s chair and only patients with complications and/or complex surgeries would need to be admitted to a hospital.
Very often, a single straightforward dental implant can be placed on the same day, and you are treated as an out-patient. Patients who are having multiple implants, those with complications or those at risk of developing side effects, may be recommended an in-patient procedure.
Dental Implants Are Permanent
Patients who have worn dentures are often surprised to know that dental implants are permanent tooth replacements. You cannot remove them for eating, drinking or sleeping.
Dental Implants Don’t Just Benefit Teeth
Dental implants provide support and contouring for the structures of the face. This is usually very noticeable for patients who have been missing teeth for some time. When dental implants are used, patients report their cheeks, lips and facial harmony is much fuller and more flattering.
Still have questions about the dental implant process and how you can prepare for surgery? It’s always best to speak to a professional if you have questions. Please contact us for the most convenient appointment: (02) 4210 9078.