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A To Z Of Dental Implants

Could dental implants be the solution for you, too? Are you interested in knowing more about the exciting possibilities? The most frequently asked questions and answers about implant treatment are collected on the following pages by keywords from A to z.


Is there a minimum age for dental implants?

Bone growth should be completed at the time of implant placement. It can be assumed that this is complete by about the age of 18yrs.Girls generally finish growing earlier than boys. In case of doubt the state of the bone can be checked by an x-ray examination of the carpal bones.

Is implant placement contraindicated at an advanced age?

It is never too late to improve your quality of life with implants. The treatment is so low risk that implants can be placed in patients aged 70, 80 or even 90yrs.There is no upper age limit. If you are fit for any other routine dental treatment and you are in good health, you can also have implants.

Airport Security Check

Will metal detectors beep at my implant, such as at an airport check?

No, don’t worry about it. Implants are not magnetic and they are also much too small to trigger the detector.


Is it possible to be allergic to dental implants?

Dental implants have been available for more than 40yrs.Over this long period no allergies to titanium implants have become known. Titanium has no allergenic components and is completely neutral in the body. Of the materials used for the crowns and bridges ceramic has proven the most compatibility to the body.


Is a general anesthetic necessary for implant placement?

No. Local anesthetic can completely prevent any pain. When the dentist prepares the implant site in the bone and place the implant in, you will feel a slight pressure but no pain. For most patients the procedure feels like a normal treatment for cavities, which is also conducted under local anesthetic. However, if you are anxious you can consider conscious sedation.

B – Beautiful teeth

I only need a couple of implants, but I would also like all my teeth to be whiter –Is it possible?

The dentist can frequently whiten darker teeth. Unattractive front teeth can be coated with plastic or fine ceramic, referred to as veneers. The crowns for the implants will be brighter from the start or the new tooth shape will be modified accordingly. Ask your dentist. The dentist can offer a solution for almost every problem.

Bone grafting

When is bone grafting necessary?

If the jaw has no teeth and is not subject to the associated natural chewing load over a long period, the bone gradually atrophies. This is similar process to that of a muscle that atrophies because it is no longer used. Certain bacteria can also destroy the bone. This is referred to as periodontitis otherwise known as periodontitis, an inflammatory disease of the periodontium. If the bone is weakened or thin and an implant cannot be placed in it, the dentist will recommend bone grafting. The bone tissue is restored with autologous bone or bone replacement material as atraumatically as possible .A mixture of both autogenous bone and bone replacement material is often used. The grafting material is layered directly on the bone and gradually converted by the body to strong bone substance. The bone can be widened or lifted by this method. At the back of the upper jaw the bone is generally raised by a sinus lift procedure. This prevents part of the implant from extending into the maxillary sinus. Bone grafting can often be done during implant placement. However, in other cases a separate outpatient procedure may also be required.

C- Cardiac pacemaker

Could implants affect my cardiac pacemaker?

No. Implants have no electromagnetic effect. They cannot affect the operation of your pacemaker in any way.


What material is used for crowns?

Most crowns and bridges are metal or metal alloys and are veneered with ceramic in in a color to match the natural tooth. The high quality aesthetic alternative is porcelain. Zirconium oxide ceramic with its high strength is particularly suitable for implant borne dentures. It is suitable for single tooth crowns, and also for larger bridges and it reflects the light identically to the natural tooth enamel. This means that the denture is virtually identical to the natural teeth.


How can i prepare for the consultation?

You should be thoroughly informed before the consultation. This brochure contains all the important basic information that you should know. You should also take the advantage of the consultation to ask any questions that you might have. Make a list of questions before hand so you don’t forget any. Don’t forget to inform the dentist of any other diseases and medications that you take regularly. You should also bring a note to remind you of this.


How much will it all cost?

The cost depends on the extent of the treatment and the number of implants. The estimate of work required and associated costs, which will be given to you by your dentist before starting the treatment will give you an exact idea of the costs.

D – Day surgery procedure

Is the implant placement really a day surgery procedure?

Yes. The implant dentist works atraumatically and safely so multiple implants can generally be placed without problems in an outpatient procedure in one single session.

Dental care

How do I care for my implant borne teeth?

Implant borne teeth not only look like natural teeth. They can be cleaned just as easily with a tooth brush- including an electric tooth brush-and tooth paste. When cleaning implants the spaces between the teeth and the transitions to the gums are particularly important. These areas are colonized by bacteria that attack the gum and over time they can also attack the jaw bone around the implant. This can be prevented with dental floss or small interdental brushes. The prophylaxis team at your dentist will show you how to handle the instruments and will provide professional tooth cleaning at regular intervals-such as every three months. This will remove stubborn plaque and your teeth will look as good as new. You should make regular prophylaxis appointments with your dentist. It’s worth it.

Dental material

See ceramics at C.


If I am a diabetic can I still have an implant?

Yes. However, your diabetes must be well controlled. Diabetes that is poorly controlled or untreated may adversely affect the healing processes for metabolic reasons. If there is any doubt the dentist will consult your doctor.


Are there any diseases that would prevent implant placement?

Not really .If you have a serious general disease such as a cardiovascular disease, serious kidney damage, a tendency to hemorrhage or an impaired immune system, you should always inform the dentist. In some cases side effects of medications may affect healing process, so the dentist should be informed of any medications that you take regularly at the first consultation. The dentist will advise you of the options and assist you to make your own decision on the basis of your health profile.


How long does an implant last?

After the healing phase a correctly inserted quality implant will be more resistant to many influences that the natural root of the tooth. A titanium implant with the optimum prosthetic load will not break. And it is immune to caries. Consistent oral hygiene will keep your gums and the implant site healthy. With appropriate care implants can last a lifetime.

F – Food

Can I bite and eat normally with an implant borne denture?

Regardless of whether you have an implant borne crown, bridge or denture: you will be able to eat, bite, talk and laugh just you could formally with your second set of teeth. The denture will be firmly attached to your implants and you can feel quite secure with it.

Foreign body feeling

Will implant borne teeth feel like my own or will I feel as if I have a foreign body in my mouth?

Implant borne teeth will feel quite natural when you are talking, eating and laughing. You won’t feel any difference.

I – Immediate implant placement

Can implants be placed immediately after removing teeth?

Yes, this is often possible today. The implant is placed in the fresh wound immediately after removal of a tooth. This is referred to as immediate implant placement (not to be confused with immediate loading of implants).

Immediate loading

What exactly does, immediate loading” mean and does it apply to me?

The usual plan for implant borne teeth includes a healing phase with no loading on the implants after they have been inserted. In this procedure the gap is temporarily closed with a classical temporary denture, which is normally attached to the neighboring teeth. However, in immediate loading new implant systems and methods are used under specific conditions allow the denture to be attached to the implants immediately. Patients receive their implant and have fixed natural-looking teeth on the same day. Whether immediate loading is suitable for you will depend on the state of the jaw bone and the position of the implants. Ask your dentist about the options.

See also under “Treatment duration” at T

Implant material

What are implants made of?

Good quality implants are made of pure surgical grade titanium. The material has proven to be so good that now 99% of all dental implant systems are made of pure titanium. It is extremely stable and is very compatible to the body .Titanium also becomes firmly integrated into the bone tissue. These positive properties have been confirmed not only in implant dentistry but also in many other medical areas, such prosthetic joints, for many decades. The silvery-gray color of titanium is also not a disadvantage, because implants like natural tooth roots are completely buried in the jawbone and are invisible. white implants of ceramic have also been available for some years. the first generations of aluminum oxide ceramic were not strong enough to present serious competition for titanium. current ceramic implants are now made of extremely stable zirconium oxide ceramic and are still in the testing phase. titanium is still the gold standard of implant materials.

M – Material

See “Implant Material” at I

See also under “Ceramics” at C


Are there any interactions with medications?

This is possible with certain medications. For example, cortisone can change the metabolism and immune system of the body in such a way that problems with healing may be encountered. Anticoagulation medications may cause serious hemorrhages during implant placement. If you are required to take medications regularly, you must discuss them with your dentist.

N – Night

Will i have to remove an implant borne denture at night?

A conventional denture should be removed at night, because it may adrift during sleep and may block the pharynx or the respiratory passage. An implant borne denture is normally fixed in place and can be left in place at night without danger. Your dentist will advise you about this. You only have to ask.

P – Pain

Will i be in pain after the procedure?

The gum will probably be sensitive in the first few days after the procedure but will not bleed any more. Your cheek may swell for a short time and may feel uncomfortable. However, most patients will not even need a painkiller on the following day and can return to normal life.


See “Bone grafting” at B.

Q – Quality

Are there differences in quality among implants?

Like virtually any product there are very high quality implants and lower quality models. For example, there are differences in the shape of implants, particularly with the surface. The surface of an implant can be modified to improve the principally tissue compatible material properties of titanium, but they can also be reduced. Always have your dentist inform you about the characteristics of the implant that is to be used. Ask about long term experience. Also ask about the long term availability of replacement components in case your denture ever has to be renewed in the future.

R – Risks

Are there any risks involved with implant placement?

An implant placement is a minor surgical procedure. Complications such as injuries to nerves and blood vessels during placement of implants are certainly possible. This is extremely unlikely these days with advances in diagnostics and planning. When an implant is placed by a qualified dentist, the risks are no greater than when removing a wisdom tooth.

A sudden rejection reaction of a fully healed implant is also very unlikely. However, in rare cases the bone may not hold the implant firmly enough. In this case it cannot be resist loading sufficiently and will most probably have to be removed under local anesthetic. In most cases a new implant can be placed in the same session if you wish.

And if an implant becomes infected?

When detected early enough infections caused by bacteria can usually be treated successfully. If you attend regular appointments for dental care and prophylaxis at your dentist and also clean your teeth regularly at home, you are unlikely to be affected.

Replacement and modification of the denture

Can implant- borne dentures be replaced or, if more teeth are lost, extended?

Yes, the denture can be replaced or modified at any time. A single tooth implant can be converted into an abutment for a bridge or prosthesis without difficulty, even after many years.

I already have a normal full denture. Do you need a new one for attachment to the implants?

If the existing denture will guarantee optimum load of the implants and good chewing function, it can certainly be adjusted for fixing to implants. Ask your dentist. The dentist can assess your individual situation and will recommend the best solution for you.

What happens if one of my own teeth that is integrated into the denture as an abutment is lost?

If a tooth has to be removed, for example because of a root inflammation, it can generally be replaced by an additional implant without difficulty. The support and possibly also the denture will be modified accordingly.

S – Sinus lift

See “Bone grafting” at B.


Are dental implants advisable for smokers?

The long term success rate of implants can be endangered by smoking. Discuss it with your dentist. He can assess the risks in your case.


Can i still exercise and play sport after implant placement?

Exercise after implant placement is not a problem. However if you take part in activities involving vigorous movement, you should consult the dentist first. A few days of rest may be recommended to avoid affecting the healing process.

T – Treatment

When and how are the teeth placed on the implant?

In a normal healing process the implants will be fully integrated into the bone in the upper jaw after about six months and in the lower jaw after about three months. Your new crowns can now be firmly fixed in place.

The dentist uncovers the “head” of the implant and temporarily screws on a small cap, called coping, to shape the gum correctly. An impression is taken at this stage. The dental technician uses the impression as the basis for the fabrication of your denture. After the colors have been precisely matched and a test fit the denture is securely attached to the implants.

Will I be without teeth during treatment and the healing phase?

No. If you had a removable denture before treatment, it will generally only require a minor adjustment to allow you to continue to use it. If you did not have a removable denture beforehand, the gap can still be covered with a temporary denture. In some circumstances it can sometimes be fixed to the implants immediately. In the case of such long term temporary dentures there are very sophisticated solutions that are virtually indistinguishable from the final crowns and your natural teeth.

See also under “immediate loading” at I

Treatment duration

How many appointments will be required for my new implants?

This depends on the scope and type of treatment. One session is usually enough for the consultation at which the dentist will be able to answer your questions. The next appointment will be for the preliminary examinations and planning. The new tooth roots can generally be inserted in the jaw bone a short time later in one treatment session .In this procedure the dentist makes a small incision in the gum at the implant position, which is then sutured over the implant after insertion of the implant. The wound is checked to ensure that it is healing properly one or two days after implant placement. After about ten days the sutures are removed. Now you can wait for the bone to regenerate during the healing phase without any more treatment sessions.

W – Work

When can I go back to work again?

Your dentist will probably give you a certificate for a few days off work. However , you will usually be able to live normally the day after the operation and go back to work a few days later.

See also under “sport” at S.

Is there anything else I need to worry about?

In brief: no. Think of your implants as a natural part of your body. You can exercise, talk, eat , laugh and live as if nothing had happened. There is no difference from your natural teeth.

(Courtesy- Dentsply-Friadent.)

Authored By Dr.K.N Trivikram Rao - Dentist, Bangalore



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