What is an implant?
An implant is a metal screw placed into the jawbone. It is used to fix the crown, bridge or denture permanently to the bone.
What does the procedure involve?
This procedure is usually done under local anaesthesia The gum is cut to expose the underlying bone. Using a drill a series of holes are drilled into the bone and the implant finally screwed into this hole. The gum is then placed back with stitches. The time depends on the number of implants placed and the difficulty i.e. if bone graft is required. Roughly it takes around half an hour to place one implant.
What happens after the operation?
There may be some dissolvable stitches. You might unusually become sore and swollen. You will be given antibiotics which should be taken regularly. Regular pain killers may be useful for the first few days. Depending on the number of implants placed, you may have to take few days off work. Keep the wound clean with regular salt water rinses.
What are the possible problems?
Bleeding: Uncommon, but if it is profuse apply pressure with a swab. Usually there will be blood tinged with saliva, which will automatically get better..
Infection : is unusual but antibiotics are prescribed to prevent this.
Nerve damage: this is again unusual. There are two nerves, one is within the bone supplying sensation to the lower lip. The other nerve travels close to the bone, which gives sensation to the tongue and helps with taste. Sometimes these nerves may be bruised when an implant is placed, causing temporary tingling or numbness in your lip, chin or tongue, and more rarely altered taste. Very rarely this can be permanent.The chances of these nerves being bruised depends on where the implant is placed and how much bone there is around the nerves. These risks will the discussed prior to the procedure