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Geoffrey R. Bauman, DMD, MS | Standard Dental Implants in Newark

Geoffrey R. Bauman, DMD, MS / Board Certified,  American Board of Periodontology
Fellow, Midwest Implant Institute

PERIODONTICS & DENTAL IMPLANTS

740-366-3559

Standard Dental Implants
 

WHAT ARE DENTAL IMPLANTS AND WHY HAVE THEY BEEN RECOMMENDED?

Dental implants are structures made of a special biocompatible metal that can be inserted either into or on top of the jaw bone with a small “stem” that extends through the gums to support false teeth. They may also be used to prevent denture instability. Usually, one surgical visit is required to place the implants into or on top of the bone, and a second simple surgical visit 3-8 months later (after bone healing around the implant) to connect the stem (post) to the implant. Dental implants have been recommended because your dentist has considered the alternative treatment possibilities and feels that dental implant would provide the most stable replacement and/or support for your missing teeth.  Be aware that dental implants require more frequent visits to the dentist for follow-up.  Although they are not susceptible to cavities, they can suffer from gum disease just like natural teeth (although they are not as susceptible) and must followed up closely by the dentist and cleaned well by you on a daily basis. 

BENEFITS

Dental implants are probably the fastest growing area of dentistry today.  It is no longer true that you may have only one set of permanent teeth!  Because they have their own “root structure”, they can be positioned where strategic teeth have been lost to provide a wide variety of choices in the replacement of the missing teeth.  In some cases, permanent crowns or  bridges can be placed where large, removable dentures were previously the only treatment option.  Dentures that are loose and create problems for eating and speaking can be secured by placing implants to which they may be fastened.  Dental implants can in many instances make it unnecessary to cut down perfectly good teeth for bridges.

RISKS & COMPLICATIONS

Significant complications usually do not occur.  However, the risks of the surgical placement of these implants may include, but are not limited to, failure of the implant to become firmly attached with loss of bone; failure of the implant due to design or method of placement onto the implant unrelated to the implant placement procedure;  periodontal disease and implant loss if good oral hygiene is not practiced; and possible surgical complications including swelling, infection , bruising, and numbness (which is usually temporary but in rare cases, may be permanent); and/or discoloration of the skin.  Studies have shown that the type of implants that are inserted into the bone have a success rate between 90--99% for more than 25 years depending mostly on the quality of your bone.  These success rates imply that failures do occur.  When implants do fail they can be re-attempted and often are successful the second time.  Sometimes the area where an implant is needed does not have adequate bone or gum present. Bone grafting may be necessary in order to have enough bone to support the implant.  Gum grafting may be required to prevent gum breakdown or to provide a more cosmetic result.  It is possible that when the bone is exposed during the first surgery the bone will be found inadequate for implant placement and the placement may have to be postponed or ruled out.  Implants in the lower posterior jaw have some risk of injuring the nerve that supplies feeling to the lower lip on the side of injury.  This is a very rare occurrence.  Even when that to occur, this injury would not result in drooping of the lip, drooling, and does not affect appearance of the smile or other facial expressions.  Muscular control would still be intact. 

During most of the healing phase, you will be able to wear a temporary false tooth appliance of some type.  However, in a few instances the patient must go for up to 2 weeks without any false teeth after the first surgery, so you may need to take some time off work or away from the public during initial healing.  Dental implant treatment generally requires many months to complete and sometimes can run over 1 year.  The results are generally worth the wait.  Patience is a virtue when it comes to dental implant treatment!  It may be advisable to put off dental implant treatment if you will not remain in the area until completion of the treatment. Since planning and treatment is complex, it would be advisable to have the same doctor begin and complete your treatment.

ALTERNATIVE TREATMENT

There is usually some form of treatment available to replace your missing teeth that does not necessitate the placement of dental implants.  Usually, the cost is less for these alternative treatments and it doesn’t usually take as much time to complete the treatment.  Complications and benefits of these treatments as well as complications of these alternative therapies will vary between patients.  However, other types of tooth replacement generally require cutting down other teeth, additional stress on neighboring teeth, retention of dental plaque, more difficulty cleaning the teeth, and increased risk of cavities.  Dentures usually possess poorer retention and function without implants.  You will be provided with verbal information and a letter describing alternatives more specific to your case.

PREPARATION FOR DENTAL IMPLANT SURGERY

If you desire sedation during the procedure, please let Dr. Bauman know before scheduling the procedure as this will require additional preparation.  You will want to take the remainder of the surgical day away from work.  If you have a job that entails heavy physical exercise, you may want more time away from work.  You will be on a liquid-soft diet for a few days after the surgery.  Therefore, you will want to have plenty of nutritious liquids and soft foods on hand.  Dietary supplements (Ensure, Sustical) are not absolutely necessary, but require little preparation to ensure adequate nutrition.  These supplements are not safe for diabetics however.  Diabetics and other patients for whom very controlled nutrition is necessary may puree their normal diet in a food blender using milk or fruit juices to thin drier foods.