Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
At Champagne Smiles, we strive to provide thorough patient education, so our prospective and current patients know what their dental treatment options are. We also want our patients to be informed about what to expect before, during and after their cosmetic dental treatment, so they feel confident in their decision to pursue the cosmetic dental procedure of their choice. With this in mind, Dr. Richard Champagne, a knowledgeable cosmetic dentist in New Jersey, shares frequently asked questions as well as his responses.
How long do dental implants last?
While implants can last for many decades, there are so many variables that will ultimately determine how long they are of service to you.
These factors include genetics, homecare, regular professional care, overall health, smoking, diet, forces that are placed on the implants (especially lateral forces), the type of materials that are placed on top of the implants, as well as other factors.
I hope you can see by this list that your question is not an easy one or a simple one to answer. It is, however, a very important question to discuss with your dentist so that you can have realistic expectations.
How long should it take for stitches to dissolve?
Depending upon the type of stitches that were placed, they may be expected to last anywhere from one week to several weeks. So it’s not necessarily an issue that they have dissolved, however, if you have any concerns that the area is not healing properly then I would strongly recommend that you have your dentist take a look at the site.
How long you should wait to place dental implants after bone grafting?
How long you should wait to place dental implants after bone grafting has been done depends on the extent of the grafting procedure. In some cases, as little as 12 weeks is all that’s required.
In cases where the grafting procedure is very extensive, you may need to wait as long as nine months before placing dental implants.
Your dental implant dentist can give you a much better idea based on the specifics of your situation.
Removing a dental implant.
A dental implant should not cause any discomfort.
From your description, it sounds as though your discomfort may be coming from the fact that the implant was placed in such a way that the crown on top of it does not allow for the gums to be cleaned properly. This could be causing you discomfort.
Before you consider removing the dental implant which could be a very extensive procedure, consider having the crown redone or reshaped.
Reusing a dental bridge.
There is no way to properly retrofit a tooth supported bridge onto dental implants. There is no way to reuse the bridge in such a manner that it won’t create an unhealthy result.
Can you get dental implants with severe bone loss?
If you don’t currently have enough jawbone to properly place a dental implant, then your dentist may suggest adding back bone with a procedure called a bone graft.
If the jaw bone is too narrow, we can typically have great success building out the width. If the height is deficient, it can often be very challenging to increase the height of the jaw bone.
With proper x-rays, your dentist will know what your current situation is.
Is an implant necessary?
There are a number of reasons for replacing a missing tooth with a dental implant.
Not only will it give you greater chewing surface, but it will also keep the adjacent teeth and opposing teeth from shifting. Another very important reason for getting a dental implant is because it will preserve the jaw bone and keep it from resorbing.
However, since finances are a concern, you could consider a removable partial denture. This would help to stabilize the neighboring teeth and it would also give you greater chewing surface.
Creating adequate space to place dental implants.
What you describe is actually a very common scenario.
It’s not unusual for the space above the gumline to be sufficient for an implant to be placed, however, the space between the roots of the adjacent teeth is insufficient.
It typically is not difficult for an orthodontist to realign your brackets and correct this situation.
Dental implants to replace missing teeth.
There are several factors that will determine what your best solution is to replace these missing teeth.
You’ll need to discuss with your dentist if the space that currently exists is sufficient to place an implant as well as your current risk for cavities and gum disease.
Another important consideration is the condition of the teeth that are adjacent to the space. You would want to take into consideration whether these adjacent teeth are virgin or have already received treatment.
Age restrictions and dental implants.
Age aside, it really comes down to comfort, aesthetics, and your ability to properly chew food.
If you don’t feel the need to replace the tooth that was extracted, then there is really no need to consider an implant. The only thing you need to keep in mind is that if there is a tooth directly below it, then it may start over erupting and may eventually need to be extracted.
Osteotome sinus lift versus lateral wall sinus lift.
Without more information, I won’t be able to give you an answer that is specific to your situation. I can, however, give you a description of the difference between the two procedures.
Typically, a lateral wall lift can improve the bone height over a much larger area and to a large extent. It is, however, more invasive, more expensive, and has a longer postop healing time. The osteotome lift is indicated for only a single implant site and typically cannot achieve as much improvement in the height of the jawbone.
All-On-6 dental implant bridge.
The wonderful thing about dental implants is that you can start with a few and add more as finances allow.
That means that you could start with an implant overdenture on four dental implants and in the future it more dental implants so that you can enjoy an All-On-6 prosthesis.