Dental implant surgery is a process in which a damaged or destroyed tooth is replaced with a titanium screw post, an abutment, and a custom-made crown. The function and the appearance of dental implants are highly comparable to a tooth’s root. This surgery is a suitable alternative to dentures and bridges and prevents complications associated with them. The methods used in this surgery depend on the type of implants and jaw conditions. Dental implant surgery can be done through various methods. The most important benefit of this method is that it builds a firm and stable basis to protect the new tooth. All procedures of this surgery take months to perform, considering the fact that the jawbone needs several months to heal.

Why are dental implants necessary?

During the surgery, the implant is placed in the jawbone and replaces the missing tooth’s root. Dental implants are noiseless and do not slip or have the common problems of dentures and bridges because of the titanium used in the implants merges properly with the jawbone.

What advantages do dental implants have over dentures and bridges?

  • Natural look
  • Protecting the jawbone and its density against the pressures caused by chewing
  • No denture to slip in your mouth and general stability
  • Patient’s improvements in chewing (eating) and speaking
  • Improved dental hygiene
  • Easier to brush one’s teeth

Who is considered an appropriate candidate for dental implants?

Dental implants are suitable for those who:

  • Have lost one or multiple teeth
  • Their jawbone has fully developed
  • Have enough density in their jawbone to protect the implant, or can undergo a bone grafting operation.
  • Have a soft and healthy mouth tissue
  • Don’t have any complication preventing their bones from healing
  • Can’t use dentures
  • Desire to improve their speaking and pronunciation
  • Can tolerate several months of treatment
  • Don’t smoke

Who is prohibited from dental implant surgery?

This surgery cannot be done on:

  • Children and adults whose jawbone is still developing
  • Pregnant women and those breastfeeding
  • Smokers
  • Alcoholics and drug addicts
  • Individuals who have undergone head and neck radiation therapy
  • Patients with diabetes, connective tissue disease, hemophilia, extreme osteoporosis, and Immunodeficiency

What are the complications of dental implants?

Patients may experience some natural short period complications after the surgery, such as swelling, bruise, pain, inflammation, and inability to eat solid foods. Just like any other surgeries, dental implants can have their own complications. However, they are rare and minor in case of occurrence which can be healed in a short while. Some of these complications include:

  • Infection of the surgical area
  • Damage to the tissue and other structures around the surgical site such as the adjacent teeth or blood vessels
  • Nerve damages that can cause pain, or temporary or permanent loss of sensation in face, gum, lips, or cheek.
  • Upper jaw sinus damages during the implant process

Preparing for dental implant surgery

Preparation procedures before the surgery are usually carried out by several surgeons including a jaw surgeon, an oral and maxillofacial surgeon, a dentist, a prosthodontist, and in some cases, an ENT (ears, nose, and throat) physician. Since dental implant surgery is a multi-stage surgery, several tests and X-rays are needed to be performed on the patient which include:

Full dental examination

A full X-ray and 3D imaging of the patient’s jaw and teeth are needed.

Checking the patient’s medical records

The patient’s medical condition, and their history of previously used medication, or dietary supplements must be examined thoroughly. Antibiotics will be prescribed for patients who suffer from cardiovascular or orthopedic diseases to prevent possible infections.

Treatment schedule

The dental implant surgery schedule might comprise several factors regarding the patient’s conditions. These factors can be the number of teeth to be replaced, jawbone conditions, or the conditions of the remaining teeth.

What to expect during the treatment?

Dental implant surgery has several stages and there must be a break between each of the stages for recovery. The stages are:

  • Pulling out the damaged teeth
  • Preparing the jawbone (bone grafting), only if necessary
  • Placement of the implant post in the jaw
  • Bone and jaw healing
  • Abutment placement
  • Placement of the artificial tooth (crown) on the abutment

The above-mentioned stages last several months. A significant portion of time in this process is devoted to jawbone recovery and healing of the new bone. Specific procedures and materials will be used depending on the patient’s condition, and some of the mentioned stages might merge.

When is a dental bone graft necessary in dental implant surgery?

A dental bone graft surgery needs to be performed before the dental implant surgery if the patient’s jawbone is not thick enough or is too soft. This is because chewing food puts a lot of pressure on the jawbone and if the bone fails to support the implant, the whole surgery will be a waste of time. Dental bone graft surgery can build a sturdy base for dental implants. There are various materials to use for recreating the jawbone. The options comprise of using natural bone materials from another part of the body, or artificial bone materials. Patients should consult with their surgeon about these options. It takes several months for the transferred bone material to be merged with the patient’s jawbone. However, in some cases, the bone grafting procedure is a minor one that can be performed together with dental implant surgery on the same day. The patient’s jawbone condition will determine the treatment procedures.

Placing the implant in the patient’s jaw

To begin the surgery, an incision is made on the patient’s gum to reveal the jawbone. Then several holes are made in the bone for the placement of the implant posts. The implant post will be placed inside the bone deeply to replace the tooth’s root. At this stage, the space created for the tooth is still empty. However, a temporary crown is placed in the space to make your appearance better. You can take the crown out, if necessary, for cleaning or at sleep time.

Waiting for the bone to heal

When the dental implant is placed in the jawbone, the osseointegration (bone merging process) begins. In this stage, the jawbone surrounds the implant and merges with its surface. This process, which takes several months, builds a firm basis for the crown and functions just like a natural tooth’s root.

Abutment placement

Once the osseointegration (bone merging process) is complete, another surgeon is needed to place the abutment. An abutment is a piece on which the crown is placed. Abutment placement is an outpatient procedure using local anesthesia.

In order to place the abutment

  • The oral and maxillofacial surgeon makes another incision on your gum to reveal the implant
  • The abutment will be attached to the implant
  • The gum tissue will be sutured around the abutment and not on it

In some cases, the abutment is installed on the dental implant post on the same day the implant post is placed. In other words, there is no need to wait for another stage of surgery. However, if you just open your mouth, you can see the abutment since it is positioned in the outer part of the gum. Nevertheless, some people do not appreciate what they see in the mirror and prefer that the abutment be placed on the post in a separate surgery. After the abutment placement, you must wait only for two weeks to install the artificial tooth on the abutment.

Selecting among the artificial teeth to complete the dental implant surgery

The process of molding both the mouth and the remaining teeth begins once the gum has recovered. The created mold is used to form the crown. The crown or the artificial tooth will not be placed on the abutment until the jawbone is capable enough to endure the pressures caused by the new tooth. You can choose between the two types of replacement teeth below to complete the dental implant.

Removable

Removable replacement teeth are much like the old and ordinary dentures and can be complete or partial. This type of prosthetic replacement tooth can easily be installed on the abutment with only a press, and patients can take it out whenever they need for cleaning or repairs. Despite being a removable prosthetic, it is firm and stable and does not have the problems of traditional dentures. The firmness of the implant in the upper jaw leads to the high stability of the artificial tooth (crown) in your mouth.

Fixed

This type of replacement teeth is permanently screwed to the abutment and one cannot be taken out for brushing or at sleep time. An implant is often used for each missing tooth. However, multiple teeth can also be bridged and attached to a single implant since the implant is pretty sturdy.

Period of convalescence after dental implant

Avoid consuming food which requires lots of chewing for up to 2 weeks and do not put pressure on the surgical area. After the surgery, your diet will consist of soft foods that are easy to chew and various kinds of soup. You will experience a degree of bleeding during the first few hours after surgery. Place a sterile gauze pad on the area to stop the bleeding. It is perfectly normal for your saliva to be bloody for the first few days after the surgery. You will experience swelling for 2 to 3 days after dental implant surgery. The swelling will go down gradually and will be gone completely after 7 days. Applying an ice pack could reduce the swelling. Place the ice pack on your face for 20-minute intervals. To control the pain you’re experiencing, make sure to use the medication prescribed by your doctor. In case the pain is too unbearable, make sure to consult with your surgeon. Make sure to use antibacterial mouthwash for 2 weeks to minimize the chance of infection. Avoid eating anything for a few hours after the surgery. To prevent any chance of infection make sure to brush your teeth using a soft bristle toothbrush and toothpaste. Do not brush your teeth on the first night after your surgery. Rest for 48 hours after dental implant surgery. You can return to your daily activities, once you feel like you’ve recovered a bit. It is normal for a grey or white layer to be seen in the wound area a few days after the surgery. Rest assured, it does not indicate any sign of infection. In case your doctor has prescribed antibiotics for you, make sure to complete the full prescription according to the dosage.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a suitable age for a dental implant?

General improvements to oral and dental hygiene have had a great effect on reducing the number of teeth lost. Still, there are also cases of severe tooth decay and those who’ve lost their teeth as a result of trauma. You may receive dental implants after you’ve fully developed and your jawbone’s growth is complete. Performing this surgery is possible for all ages, however, for older patients, it depends on their general health condition.

How long does the whole surgical process take?

Everything depends on whether or not you need complex surgery such as bone graft. If such a procedure is needed then your treatment period extends another 4 to 6 months. If not, then the whole procedure will take about 6 to 8 months. The number of missing teeth, implant method, jawbone condition, and convalescence also impacts the treatment period.

Is it necessary to request a leave of absence to undergo dental implant surgery?

Many patients can return to their daily life routine on the same day after the surgery. But the patient’s health condition and the treatment’s complexity could impact how long the convalescence period would take. Some patients prefer to rest for a day or two after the surgery.

Is dental implant surgery painful?

In normal conditions, the pain from the procedure is quite manageable using over-the-counter pain medication. The patient can use pain medication for up to 5 days after their surgery. However, if bone grafting is part of your treatment procedure then you will most likely experience more pain after the surgery. Receiving multiple implants at the same time would result in much more pain for the patient. In cases where the patient is experiencing a tremendous amount of pain, the use of anesthesia is advised.

What are the chances of failure for this treatment?

The expertise and talent of our specialized team at Estetikcentrum has made it so that our success rate for this treatment is higher than 95 percent. Having an expert surgeon perform the surgery ensures the success of the treatment. Still, lack of oral and dental hygiene on the behalf of the patient and some rare factors could result in infection around the implant site (peri-implantitis) which eventually results in failure of the treatment.

How long does a dental implant last?

Dental implants are long-lasting and in most cases last throughout the patient’s life. However, proper care and oral-dental maintenance by the patient play a dramatic role in the implant’s longevity. The dental implant’s longevity is ensured for life for patients who regularly brush their teeth, floss, and go for dental checkups. Not maintaining your oral-dental hygiene will cause your gums around the implant to get infected which infects the jawbone and finally results in failure of the treatment.

Are my dental implants obvious to observers?

This treatment method’s results are strangely similar to natural teeth so people won’t be able to tell the difference. The size and tone of the implant are so similar to the teeth around it that even you will have a hard time telling them apart. Only an X-ray (radiography) would be able to indicate the existence of a titanium post. However, if you don’t take your oral-dental hygiene seriously that could result in gum infection and recession. Receding gums cause the titanium post-implant to become visible. Obviously, no one would want that so make sure to maintain a consistent dental hygiene routine.

How many implants are necessary for a full jawbone dental implant?

You’ll need sufficient titanium posts to support your teeth. The number of posts depends on your jawbone density. The bone density of your lower jaw in the front teeth is of the highest possible quality and the lowest in the back teeth of the upper jaw. Therefore, the surgeon must examine your jawbone’s condition closely in order to accurately estimate how many dental implants are needed to replace your teeth. The patient’s age and habits such as grinding teeth are also significant factors that contribute to this matter. Generally speaking, you will need at least 4 dental implants in each full arch. But most dentists recommend 7 to 8 implants for the upper jaw and 5 to 7 dental implants for the lower jaw.

Taking care of your dental implants for the rest of your life

As it was mentioned above, dental implants are long-lasting. But you will need to follow these necessary tips to avoid any complications: Brush two times a day and make sure to floss. Taking care of your implants is exactly the same as your teeth. Even though dental implants lack any nerves or blood vessels, you will still need to care for it due to its connectivity to the gum tissue. Quit smoking. Smoking causes gum inflammation and infection which weakens the jawbone structure. Smoking after the surgery delays the wound healing process. Just like your regular teeth, visit your dentist for a regular checkup every 6 months.

The benefits of undergoing your dental implant at Estetikcentrum

All treatments performed at this clinic are done with the utmost care so you can be assured that we will prioritize your personal needs. We devote as much time as needed for each of our patients, regardless of whether or not their treatment period is short or long. The key to a successful treatment is experience and careful monitoring. We will greet you with open arms at our clinic located in Malmö. Our renowned surgeons have years of experience in dental treatments and actively cooperate with the industry and are familiar with the latest technological advancements in the field.

Did you know that we also provide other dental services?

Do you suffer from tooth decay? Do you need root canal treatment or just looking for a suitable place for your child’s yearly checkup? We specialize in dental implants but we also offer general dental care. Through our deal with insurance companies, your treatment expenses are covered by the insurance company and consultations cost 390 kr. only (standard fee is 810 kr.). The exact cost of the procedure will be determined after the consultation. So don’t worry about the cost, we offer dental services at a reasonable price!

We’re specialized in working with patients who are afraid of dental care!

During our years of experience, we’ve had patients who had avoided getting dental work done due to their immense fear of dentistry. Our kindhearted staff understands this issue and has experience in how to deal with it. Our staff creates a comfortable and calm environment for you whatever your fears may be – be it fear of needles, pain or anxiety stemming from seeing dental care instruments and tools. Approximately half of adults don’t feel comfortable going to the dentist and 5% of those people express a phobia of getting dental work done. Here, we try to help patients get over that fear by creating a positive experience for them.

A dental clinic with anesthesia

Anesthesia is part of all of our treatments. We are one of the few Swedish dental clinics that provide anesthesia for all our treatments.

Prices

Individual pricing – read more here: (link to the landing page for dental prices) Our clinic has an agreement with a medical care insurance company, so if you have general dental insurance, you will be able to benefit from financial aid for the treatment. The exact costs will be determined during the consultation session. You can also reach out to Medical Finance services for help to cover a portion of the aesthetic treatment costs which aren’t covered by the general dental insurance. You can book a consultation session with our professionals online. You can also call us at 040 – 65 66 660. We look forward to seeing you at Estetikcentrum. This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about professional plastic surgeries. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your surgeon or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.