Dental implants are an exceptional solution to tooth loss. Titanium rods act as the root for the replacement tooth. Among all smile restoration options, they give people the utmost comfort and confidence as they look and feel real and do not come loose when a person eats or speaks.
As they involve surgery, it is understandable that people have many questions about them. We want to help you with your research by giving the answers to questions most dental blogs avoid.
Will the surgery be painful?
Dentists administer an anaesthetic before the procedure so that patients do not feel discomfort. For cases of simple dental implant placement (e.g. a single missing back tooth is being replaced), minor or no-post operative discomfort is felt. Some patients may feel some tenderness two to five days post-surgery, but it can be managed with over the counter painkillers.
Will I need to take time off?
It depends on the extent of the surgery and the individual patient’s experience. In simple cases, patients go back to work the following day. Others prefer to rest for a day or more.
What post-surgery care is required?
Post-surgery management is prescribed according to the patient’s case, but normally, this entails:
- biting on gauze for six to ten hours
- taking the prescribed medication
- restricting activities in the first 24 hours post-surgery
- placing ice packs on the side of the face in case of swelling
A soft diet may also be recommended on the day of the surgery and patients are advised to avoid hot food and liquid while they still feel numb to prevent them from burning their tongue.
Don’t worry about memorising all of these as post-operative care will be discussed in more detail before and after the surgery.
How long does the whole process take?
This also depends on the patient’s case. We first have to check if the gums and jawbone are healing fine and if your jawbone and the implant have fully integrated. For simple placements, it takes 12 to 15 weeks before the artificial tooth is installed.
Do implants require special care?
Implants do not require special care and are actually easier to maintain than other teeth restoration options. Patients simply have to observe proper dental hygiene and visit their dentist regularly.
I’ve heard of implant failures. What are the chances it will happen to me?
Implant failures generally fall under two categories: early failure and late or long-term failure. Early failure pertains to cases where the implant and the jawbone do not successfully bond. Long-term failure refers to cases where the implant solidly integrated, but the artificial tooth or root has become loose a year to ten years after the tooth was installed.
To date, implant success rate is at around 95%, so the chance of failure is relatively low. In most cases of failure, it could have been prevented by properly observing post-surgery management, proper dental hygiene and visiting the dentist regularly.
Am I too old for dental implants?
Old age is not a barrier for dental implants. Dentists look more into factors such as the patient’s oral and overall health, bone density and the patients’ oral habits.