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Helpful information for your new Implants

Your new implants have been placed. Now what do you do?

Well if you're like many others you play the waiting game of healing. Your oral surgeon will have instructed you on what to do and not for the next few months. Typically the healing period is 3-4 months for lower implants and 6 months for upper implants. If you were given a flipper to temporarily replace any lost or missing teeth you need to see me for any adjustments to alleviate any sore spots or functional problems.

What if I develop swelling around the implant area?

You must call me or your oral surgeon immediately. Failure to do so in a timely manner may doom the implant to failure. Initial swelling immediately after placement is normal, but this should subside in a few days. Anything more is not normal.

How are you going to put my new teeth in?

This is something that we have discussed and come to terms with before the implants are placed. There are many ways to restore teeth with implants. There is no right or wrong way, but that which is most appropriate for you.

As an example, once you have been cleared by the oral surgeon to begin restoring your teeth, I will ask to see you and determine your specific needs from a "hardware" standpoint. As odd as this may sound, it enables me to determine if there are any unusual circumstances which may have arisen as a consequence of placement. I will determine precisely what abutment heads I will use in restoring your implants with teeth. If you are going to have a denture placed over the implants it will be one type; if you are going to have crowns placed over the implants it will be another. Certain anatomic considerations will be taken into account as well as how your teeth come together. Suffice to say that it is not all that complicated or difficult, but is vital in ensuring success of the case.

What is an abutment head?

The implant is actually comprised of two parts. The part that is in your bone is called the implant body and is placed by the surgeon. The part that holds the teeth to the implant body is called the abutment head. It is what I use to attach either a crown, bar or denture to the implant. As described above I select and place this part.

solid abutments octabutment O-Ring Abutments Hader Bar

Solid Abutments
Used for cemented crowns
and bridges.

Octabutment
Used for retrievable
crowns and bridges.
O-Ring Abutments
Used for attachment of a denture via an O-Ring that is housed in denture.
Hader Bar
Used to attach a denture in a removable fashion to the implants.

What follows next after selection of the abutment heads?

A preliminary impression is taken and a custom tray is fabricated for use in taking of the master impression. This is a mold that will be used to fabricate your restorations/prosthesis. Following the taking of the master impression there is an appointment to determine fit of any cast metal parts to the implants. If the fit is good we then go to the next step which is to either place porcelain on the framework or begin construction of the denture. Several trial fittings are done. Each procedure type requires a different number of fittings. During all this time there is no need for anesthesia since the implants have no sensation.

I've got my new teeth, now what?

Now you can discover the magic of what your teeth were meant for. Just don't go and blame me for any weight gain. :-) In all seriousness you are now able to enjoy something as simple as biting into an apple or eating corn on the cob. Things that you probably had a hard time doing because of the loss of your teeth.

What about the future?

Just because you've got new teeth that can never get decay, you need to remember that the one biggest reason for implant failure is gum disease. As a consequence we will place you on a regular recare appointment schedule to ensure that your investment lasts.

What about maintenance?

If you have dentures with clips the clips will have to periodically be changed. If your denture rests partially on your tissues it may need to be relined periodically. If you have crowns that are permanently cemented they can be treated just like teeth. If you have crowns that are screwed in I may elect to have the hygienist remove them at your regular cleaning appointments. If you take care of your new implants just like they were teeth they should give you many pleasant years of function. The success rates of implants over the long term is very good and there is no reason that you can't add to that statistic.


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