How are dental implants placed?
Most dental implant surgery procedures are performed in the dentist’s office and occasionally in a hospital setting. Local anesthesia is usually adequate for these out-patient procedures but various other forms of patient sedation (such as nitrous oxide, and oral/or intravenous sedation) may also be used. Adjunctive surgical procedures is different depending on the clinical situation as well as the preferences of the patient and dental practitioner/surgeon.
What is one-stage surgery?
This method employs a non-submerged one-piece implant that has a metal collar designed to protrude through the gum while the bone is healing to the implant. After a suitable healing time, an abutment can be connected to the implant, allowing for fabrication of the crown to replace the missing tooth. Alternatively, a one-stage technique can be achieved by immediate connection of a temporary healing abutment to a two-piece implant that protrudes through the gum in much the same way as a one-piece implant. Both single stage and two-stage implants have similar success rates and you should ask your dentist which system they use and discuss how one-or-two stage procedures might be appropriate for you.
What is the overall success rate for dental implants?
Despite decades of clinical and scientific research, dental implants do not have a 100% success rate. However, the success rates have improved dramatically since the introduction of dental implant surgery and the dental profession can proudly report success rates well above 90% for most implant patients. Similarly, long term success rates are in the high 90% range and are likewise improving. When a dental implant has not successfully integrated, it may need to be removed, as it cannot easily be “converted” to osseointegrate. Your dentist will give you best advice about this. A replacement implant can be placed but may require some months of healing time and possibly bone augmentation (repair by means of grafting). Likewise, if a previously placed implant has lost significant amounts of supporting bone, there are currently no treatments that can be predictably restore the lost bone after is has been in function in the mouth.