Implant treatment involves an initial surgical procedure. In this procedure your gum is reflected from the underlying bone and holes drilled into the bone. A Titanium implant is placed in each hole and the gum stitched back into place. This surgery is usually performed under local anaesthetic.
The initial surgery is time consuming and can be a little traumatic. After the initial surgery you can expect a degree of pain, swelling and bruising. This varies from person to person but essentially may last for up to a week post surgery. Stitches are removed one week after surgery.
Implant surgery in the lower jaw takes place in reasonably close proximity to a nerve that supplies sensation to your lower lip, gums, tongue and teeth. Whilst every care is taken not to damage this nerve anyone having surgery done in the lower jaw must accept a small risk of nerve damage. If this occurs this usually takes the form of altered sensation (numbness) in the affected area. In most cases this is transient (lasting from a few hours to a few months) but in a very small percentage of people this can be permanent.
Implant surgery in the upper jaw takes place in reasonably close proximity to your air sinuses and sometimes you can get a transient nose bleed after surgery. Normally the implants usually take 3-4 months to integrate into the bone in the jaw.
Sometimes it is possible to load the implants immediately with a temporary restoration at the time of placement. This is only possible if the implants have good initial stability and if the bone is of good quality. It is NOT possible to determine if you are suitable for this change in the standard protocol until the time of surgery.
In the standard protocol a second small surgical procedure exposes the tops of the implants and they are brought through the gum by an abutment cylinder (these vary in size and shape depending on individual requirements).
Following healing impressions are then taken (This procedure involves 2 to 5 visits over a few weeks depending on complexity) and the permanent implant restoration made.
Other than the initial post surgical problems of pain/swelling/bruising/numbness problems may occur during implant treatment and subsequently:
Implant treatment has a lesser success rate in smokers than non smokers.
Implant treatment has a good success rate but like any form of dental treatment is not a panacea and not without complications.
The implant system used at this practice is the Nobelbiocare system. We use both Branemark system and Nobelreplace implants.