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FAQ

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Frequently asked questions and answers on dental implants

Do you want to find out more about implants?
Here are the most frequently asked questions and answers about implant treatment 

Before treatment

Yes! Since the dental implants are anchored in your jawbone, they function as your ordinary teeth when you are chewing, talking and laughing. Most people do not feel any difference between their natural teeth and their new ones. It usually takes a dentist to spot the difference. They look very much like your own teeth.

Yes, of course! With dental implants from Dentsply Sirona Implants you don’t have to sacrifice healthy teeth to restore missing ones. Unlike conventional bridges or partial dentures, no adjacent teeth are affected or needed for support.

Regardless of whether you have an implant-borne crown, bridge or prosthesis you will be able to eat, chew, talk and laugh just as usual.

Extensive scientific documentation from clinical studies confirms that dental implants from Dentsply Sirona Implants enable very reliable and good results – over both short and long term. Design and surface of our implants give superior strength and ensure that the teeth stay securely in place. The threads on the implant neck anchor the implant and preserve the bone. This maintains the gum contour which is important for a natural look.

Once the healing phase has been completed, a correctly placed high-quality implant is more resistant to many influences than the natural tooth root. An optimally loaded titanium implant will not break and cannot be affected by caries. Consistent oral hygiene will keep the gum and the implant site healthy. This means that implants can last a lifetime.

Like any other product, dental implants differ in quality. Your dentist can give you detailed advice on implant quality as well as information on long-term success rates. Also ask about the long-term availability of replacement parts in case your denture ever needs to be repaired.

Implants from Dentsply Sirona Implants are quality products that are the result of decades of research, development and documented clinical experience. They are manufactured with precision machinery and packaged under cleanroom conditions. The entire product chain starting from purchase of the raw materials is subject to rigid certified quality standards. 

Our range of products includes systems with differently shaped implants in various sizes and lengths, which means that the implantologist can select the exact solution for your particular situation. All implants are pure surgical titanium and have a unique microstructured titanium oxide surface, which actively supports the bone healing processes. The highly developed surface properties enable bone cells to be directly deposited on the implant and the new bone. Implants from Dentsply Sirona Implants provide the best conditions for optimum healing and permanent stability. 

Dentsply Sirona Implants also offer highly esthetic solutions for crowns, bridges and prostheses for every requirement and for every initial situation. If the prosthetic solution fixed to implants from Dentsply Sirona Implants ever needs repair or replacement, you can be sure that your dentist will be able to procure all the required components anywhere in the world even years later.

Dental implants from Dentsply Sirona Implants are made of pure surgical titanium, which is biocompatible to the body. Titanium becomes fully integrated into the bone tissue and is very stable.

Most crowns and bridges are metal or metal alloys and are veneered with ceramic to match the color of the teeth. The esthetic alternative is porcelain. Ceramic is made of high strength zirconium oxide and is particularly suitable for implant-borne dentures, for both single teeth or larger bridges.

Having an implant treatment is an investment in your future and quality of life. To have new teeth that feel like your own is a highly valued experience. It is a great treatment that can save you from other dental expenses and problems in the future. The extent of your treatment will determine your cost. Ask your dentist to prepare a cost estimate before starting the treatment, and the possibilities of setting up a finance scheme.

As the dental implants are installed under local anesthesia, you will not feel any pain during the surgery. The treated area may be swollen for a few days afterwards, which could be slightly painful. In most cases an ordinary painkiller is all you may need to feel fine.

Your implantologist will discuss in detail your initial situation, the treatment sequence and what you actually want. Find out about the options available in implant dentistry before your appointment. You will find detailed information on this web site. Don't forget to inform the implantologist of any general diseases that you might have or of medications that you take regularly.

A dental implant placement is a minor operation. Complications such as injuries to nerves and blood vessels are possible when placing implants. However, the current state of diagnostics and planning make it very unlikely to happen. When conducted by a qualified dental implantologist an implant placement involves no more risk than the removal of a wisdom tooth.

A sudden rejection reaction of a completely healed dental implant is very rare. In exceptional cases the bone may not hold the implant in place securely enough. In that case it would not be able to resist loading sufficiently and would probably have to be removed under local anesthetic. In such a case a new dental implant can normally be placed – if that is what you want. 

What if an implant becomes infected? 
When detected early enough, infections, which are usually caused by bacteria, can usually be treated successfully. If you always keep the postoperative and prophylaxis appointments at your dentist, and if you clean your teeth regularly at home, you should be safe from infection.

The material of the dental implants has no allergenic components and is biocompatible with the body.

Your age is normally not relevant – more important is your health. But if you are under eighteen years old, you must be examined to make sure you have finished growing before you can undergo implant treatment.

Usually not. If you suffer from a serious general condition such as cardiovascular diseases or osteoporosis, tendency to hemorrhage or you have an impaired immune system, you should always inform your implantologist.

If you have diabetes it should be stable and under control. Poorly managed or untreated diabetes can cause metabolic problems with the healing process. In case of doubt the implantologist will consult your diabetes physician.

This is possible with some medications. If you take any medications regularly you must discuss this with your implantologist. For example, cortisone may change the metabolism and immune situation of the body, which can cause problems with healing. Anticoagulation medications may cause serious bleeding during implant placement.

It is highly recommended to stop smoking. Smoking affects the healing process and may reduce the long-term prognosis.

The dentist can often bleach darkened teeth. Unattractive front teeth can be coated with plastic or fine ceramic shells, referred to as veneers. The crowns for the implants will then be brighter from the start or shaped to match the changes to the natural teeth. Ask your dentist about it.

Treatment procedure

No, everybody can use some kind of temporary prosthesis or temporary crown. Bone-transplanted patients may have to wait a while before putting any load on the transplanted area.

The gap is closed by a temporary denture or bridge. If you had a removable denture before the treatment, you can normally continue to use it after minor adjustment. In some circumstances it can be attached to the implants immediately – as a long-term temporary denture. See also the question "What does "immediate loading" mean?".

In a normal healing process implants in the upper jaw are generally fully integrated into the jawbone after about six months. This takes about three months for implants in the lower jaw.

Now your final prosthetics can be attached to the implants. First, the tops of the implants are uncovered and small temporary caps are screwed to the implants to shape the gums correctly. Then an impression is taken to be used as a template by the dental technician to fabricate your prosthetics and it is attached securely to the implants after accurate color matching and test-fitting.

It depends on your dental health and the exact treatment that is best for you. Some people need only one operation, while others need two. With the initial examination, the surgery, post surgery check-up, the prosthetic work and one recall, it normally takes about 6-8 visits until the treatment is completed.

This depends on the scope and type of your treatment. One session is usually enough for the consultation. The preliminary examination and planning is conducted at another appointment. Your new "tooth roots" can generally be placed and the gum sutured in another session. One or two days after the operation the wound is checked. The sutures are removed about ten days later. Then the healing phase starts, during which additional appointments are not usually required.

Yes, the denture can be renewed and modified at any time. A single-tooth implant can also be converted into an abutment for a bridge or prosthesis even years later.

If a tooth has to be removed, for example as a result of a root infection, it can usually be replaced by an additional implant without difficulty. The support and if necessary the denture will then be adjusted appropriately.

If the existing denture can guarantee optimum loading of the implants and a good chewing function, it can be adjusted for attachment to your implants. Ask your dentist about this.

The normal procedure after placement of an implant is an unloaded healing phase. During this period a standard temporary denture covers the gap. However, if the dentist finds that your bone situation meets the requirements, immediate loading of the implants is also possible. This means that a very high-quality temporary denture or a prosthesis is attached immediately to freshly placed implants and you receive your implants and fixed teeth on the same day. Ask your implantologist about this option.

Yes, this is referred to as immediate implant placement. The implant is placed in the fresh wound immediately after extraction of a tooth (do not confuse this with immediate loading of implants).

Yes, the implantologist carries out the treatment atraumatically in an outpatient procedure under local anesthetic. Multiple implants can be placed in one session.

No, normally you will be given a local anesthetic, sometimes in combination with a sedative. You will feel some vibration and a feeling of pressure when the implant site is prepared in the bone but you will not feel any pain. Your dentist can arrange for you to sleep if you prefer. If you are about to have bone transplantation, general anesthesia may be indicated.

If teeth and the associated chewing load in the jaw are absent for an extended period, the bone gradually atrophies. If the bone structure is weakened or thin to the extent that there is little or nothing to hold an implant in place, bone remodeling may be necessary. The bone tissue is restored as atraumatically as possible with bone from another part of the body or bone replacement material.

The remodeling material is layered directly on the bone and is gradually converted to resistant bone tissue by the body. The bone can be widened or increased in height by this method. At the back of the upper jaw the bone is usually increased in height by a sinus lift. This prevents the situation where part of the implant extends into the maxillary sinus. It is often possible to carry out the bone remodeling at the same time as the implant placement. However, in other cases a separate outpatient procedure may be required.

Post treatment

Back home: What should I do first? 
In the first few hours after the operation you should keep cooling your cheek from the outside. This will help prevent swelling or at least will significantly reduce swelling. It is best to keep ice cubes or a couple of cool packs ready as replacements.

Sit down or lie down. What is better after the operation? 
If you lie down this will increase the blood pressure in your head. It is better to sit in the first few hours after the operation. Light movement will also help. A walk in the evening will stimulate blood and lymph circulation. You should avoid exertion and exercise for a few days. 

And what about eating and drinking? 
Avoid eating and drinking hot beverages until the effect of the local anesthetic has worn off. Otherwise you may accidentally scald yourself or bite your cheek. If you feel thirsty before the anesthetic has worn off, it is best to drink some water. 

What should I eat after the operation? 
Light foods like vegetables, salad or fish are ideal before the sutures have been removed. Glutinous, floury and hard foods that require strong chewing may cause inflammation. It is best to avoid such foods. 

Could coffee be damaging? 
Coffee may cause post-operative hemorrhages and problems with wound healing. The same goes for black tea, coke drinks, alcohol and nicotine. You should avoid all the above for the first few days after the operation. 

Should I chew on the fresh wound? 
You should always chew on the other side so long as the wound is not fully healed. But it is not serious if the wound does come into contact with food. Always rinse your mouth out well with warm water after eating.

When can I clean my teeth again? 
You can clean your teeth again on the same day as the operation. You should clean your teeth again no later than the day after the operation to prevent the formation of plaque and bacteria that may cause inflammation in your mouth. You should keep clear of the actual area of the wound. Use a soft toothbrush just in case you do accidentally come into contact with the wound. Do not use an electric toothbrush or a dental water jet. 

Must I expect pain when the anesthetic wears off? 

You may experience pain depending on how many implants you have received. However, it can normally be controlled with a normal pain reliever. It is best to sleep with your head slightly elevated for the first night to prevent blood from accumulating in your head. 

Is the wound very sensitive? 
The sensitivity will decrease from day to day. To prevent irritation or inflammation avoid touching the wound with your tongue or your fingers. 

Can the wound still bleed after suturing? 
There may still be slight seepage of blood after the operation; this is quite normal. However, if the wound starts bleeding heavily hours or days later, something is not right. You should contact your doctor without delay. 

When will the sutures be removed? 
The sutures are normally removed seven to ten days after implant placement. Your doctor will tell you exactly when. 

What happens after the sutures have been removed? 
After removal of the sutures the implant must heal. Depending on which Dentsply Sirona Implants implant system your dentist has selected for you, a gum shaper will be placed on the implant after a few weeks. It will be replaced by the final denture later.

Does the gum former feel uncomfortable in the mouth? 
Not really. Most patients become accustomed to it after a few hours. However, be careful not to touch it frequently with your tongue or fingers. And clean it lightly with your toothbrush.

After the implant has been installed, some swelling or bruising is normal. However, generally you can resume a normal life the day after the operation.

Movement is basically not a problem after implant placement. However, you should consult your implantologist before engaging in activities requiring heavy physical activity. A few days of relaxation may be recommended to avoid affecting the healing process.

Basically: care for implant-supported crowns or bridges in exactly the same way as your natural teeth.

Thorough daily brushing and flossing is essential to ensure a long-lasting result. It is particularly important to clean the interdental spaces and the transition areas to the gum. Bacteria can colonize these areas quickly and can attack the gum and over time the jawbone around the implant.

Your dentist or dental hygienist will show you the proper way to take care of your new teeth.

Can I also clean the emergence points with dental floss? 
You can certainly do that. However, if you pull the dental floss quickly back and forth there is a danger that you might injure the gum. Interdental brushes are gentler, safer and more efficient. The hygiene team at your dentist, which is responsible for regular professional cleaning of your teeth, can show you how to use the small brushes correctly.

What actually happens with professional tooth cleaning? 
When you have your teeth professionally cleaned, specially trained dental assistants remove hidden and hard dental plaque that you cannot remove with your toothbrush or interdental brush. They also thoroughly polish the surfaces of your teeth to make it more difficult for plaque deposits to form.

How often should I have my teeth professionally cleaned? 
Two or three appointments will normally provide optimum protection for your implants. However, your individual situation is the deciding factor. For example, if you have difficulty using the interdental brush correctly or are more prone to plaque formation, your dentist may recommend more frequent cleaning.

What toothbrush is right for me? 
After healing is complete it is best to use a medium soft toothbrush with rounded and bundled bristles. Hard or low quality toothbrushes, particularly when pressed hard on the teeth, may cause the gum around the implants – and also around the natural cervix of the tooth – to retract. It is best to ask your dentist to recommend the right toothbrush and the right brushing technique.

Can I use an electric toothbrush? 
Electric toothbrushes are no better or worse than a normal toothbrush. If you are used to an electric toothbrush and can use it correctly, there is no reason why you should not use it for your implant-supported teeth.

Do you recommend a dental water jet? 
There are different opinions about this. On one hand a dental water jet has a good cleaning effect; on the other hand if the water jet is too powerful it may injure the gum and actually push bacteria under the gum. If you have not previously used a dental water jet, you should not really start using one with implants.

Can I use toothpaste with whitening agents with implants? 
If you frequently use toothpaste with large abrasive particles it may roughen the surface of your new crowns, which will make it easier for plaque to form. In addition, abraded surfaces will discolor faster. You should select a standard toothpaste without a whitening effect for daily use.

Is mouthwash suitable? 
Mouthwash is good for rinsing your mouth after snacks or for refreshing your mouth during the day. Some products may also help with inflammation. But be careful about self-medication: if you have gum problems for several days in succession or if your gum bleeds when you brush your teeth, you should make an appointment with your dentist.

If you wear a denture on your implants, you should clean not only the denture but also the attachment components emerging from the gum twice a day with the toothbrush. And this is important: clean all around the connection to the jaw with a fine interdental brush.

An implant-supported prosthesis is normally so firmly fixed that it can remain in position at night without any danger. If you wish, you can leave your prosthesis in place around the clock. However, a conventional prosthesis should be removed at night because it may come loose during sleep and may block the airways.

No more than they would natural teeth. Your dentist will recommend what kind of toothpaste to use to prevent this.

No, since the dental implants are non-magnetic they will not trigger a metal detector.