What is Dental Implant Surgery - Types, Procedure, Risks and Side Effects - Health Education - DesiMD Healthcare - India

Dental Implant Surgery

Dr.Deepak Muchhala profile Authored by Dr.Deepak Muchhala on 18 Aug 2014 - 13:01.

What is dental implant surgery?

Dental implant surgery refers to a procedure of replacing the root of the tooth with an artificial implant (a metal, screw-like posts) to replace damaged or missing teeth and restore basic functions. It offers a better alternative to dentures (prosthetic devices constructed to replace missing teeth) or bridgework (dentures to replace more missing teeth) which may slip out, produce noise or damage the teeth. Implant placed provides a strong support to the permanent or artificial teeth.

The condition of your jawbone and type of dental implant/s used will decide the way of the surgery to be performed. However, almost all dental implant surgeries involve specific stages in which several procedures are performed.

What are the types of dental implants?

The dental implants are broadly categorized as:

1. Endogenous dental implants (within the bone): These are screw or cylinder shaped or may be blade shaped implants made-up of metal (especially titanium) with ceramic covering or ceramic material. These are meant to be placed,especially in a jawbone.

2. Subperiosteal dental implants (on top of the bone): These are made up of metals and placed beneath the gum tissue, but on top of the jaw bone.

3. Transosteal dental implant (through the bone): These are pin or U shaped implants made up of metal/s that are intended to pass through the jawbone and gum tissue.

Why is the dental implant surgery done?

  • Most common dental implants may be considered in the following cases:
  • Having missing teeth (one or more)
  • Being reluctant to dentures
  • Want to improve the speech
  • Having damaged teeth
  • Failure of dentures
  • Accidental injuries that have affected teeth

Who is the right candidate for the implant?

The following criteria may be considered to selecting the candidate for the impant:

  • Fully grown jaw bone
  • Must have proper and sufficient bone to protect the implant
  • Should be able to have bone graft
  • Having a healthy tissue
  • Must be healthy without any underlying health conditions that may affect healing
  • Should have sufficient time as it may take several months.

What is the time period for dental implantation?

The whole process through certain stages may take several months ranging from three to nine months and may be longer.

What to expect in a dental implant procedure?

The patient may have to undergo following stages/ procedures during the entire process of dental implantation:

  • Removing affected tooth/ teeth
  • Preparing a jawbone for the surgery
  • Bone grafting
  • Placing a metal implant in the jawbone
  • Have to wait during the healing period (may take a few months)
  • Placing an extension of an implant after placing a crown

While grafting a bone:

  • Bone grafting is needed if the jawbone is not strong / thick enough for the implantation.
  • A piece of bone will be removed from another part of your body and transplanted to the jawbone.
  • May have to wait till the jawbone grows fully (may take upto 9 months).
  • However, in case of minor grafting, it is done during the implant surgery.

While placing the dental implant:

  • A cut in the gum will be made to expose the bone.
  • Deep wholes will be made in the bone to place an implant.

While waiting for bone growth:

The bone may grow and unite with the implant surface and providea strong base (may take up to six months)

While placing the abutment (a piece):

  • An additional surgery may be performed to place the piece of bone where the crown is expected to attach.
  • In this procedure, a gum will be exposed.
  • The abutment will be attached to an implant.
  • The gum tissues around the abutment will be closed.

Choosing the artificial teeth:

Types of artificial teeth available are:

  • A removable dental implant: It is an artificial white teeth mounted on a metal base and surrounded by pink gum (made up of plastic). It is called removable as it can be taken out for daily cleaning or repair. It is preferred when multiple teeth in the lower jaw need to be replaced. It resembles with the denture in many ways.
  • A fixed dental implant: It is a permanently cemented artificial tooth on an individual abutment. It cannot be removed for repair or cleaning.

What are the possible risks and side effects after placing an implant?

Every surgery has some side effects or risks, although these are quite rare. Some common side effects are:

  • Risk of surgical site infection
  • Swelling on face and/ or gums
  • Discomfort
  • Bruising
  • Unintentional injury to the surrounding tissues, teeth or blood vessels
  • Pain and numbness due to nerve injury
  • Tingling sensations in chin, lips, or teeth
  • Sinus related problems
  • Pain at the implantation site
  • Bleeding at the surgical site

What to expect after the surgery?

  • Post each surgical stage,  you may be allowed to eat only  soft foods to promote faster healing.
  • It may take 10 to 14 days.
  • Usually stitches will dissolve but if those are not self-dissolving, you may have to re-visit to get them removed in about 10 days after the procedure.
  • You may have to take pain medications if pain is consistent and severe.

What kind of care is needed after the surgery?

The expectancy and results can be maintained or improved by taking note of the following tips:

  • Quit smoking, as it may lead to several complications including failure of the implant.
  • Keep the implanted teeth clean by brushing and rinsing it regularly.
  • Prefer specially designed brushes like interdental brush which can slide between the teeth, clean the nooks, narrow parts and the gums.
  • See your expert immediately if you see any abnormal sign for longer period like swelling, bleeding, fever or so on.
  • Follow the schedule of revisiting the doctor after every six months.
  • Do not chew hard foods or items like opening the bottle, eating ice candy or raw cereals and so on.
  • Avoid tobacco or caffeine intake.

What are the advantages of dental implants?

The major advantages of dental implants are:

  • Improves overall appearance.
  • Improves speech.
  • Eliminates the discomfort of missing teeth.
  • Improves overall personality and self esteem.
  • Eases normal eating and convenient.
  • Improves oral health.
*Disclaimer: This is not medical advice. The content is for educational purposes only. Please contact your doctor for any health care issues.