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29 March 2023

Immediate Implant Procedures and Their Benefits for Patients

Many people lose a tooth (or teeth) due to gum disease and tooth decay. An impact injury can also cause a lost tooth.

When this happens, you’ll have trouble with biting and chewing, and over time you will experience a loss of jawbone when teeth are missing. The teeth around the empty socket could begin to shift, leading to gum disease and tooth decay — and your jawbone will deteriorate, causing facial muscles to start sagging.

Your dentist will suggest a tooth replacement procedure to help prevent these problems caused by missing teeth. Immediate implants are a popular and very successful option.

What Are Immediate Implants?

Immediate implants are dental implants that are fitted in one day – often, on the same day as a scheduled tooth extraction. Traditional dental implants can take months to complete the whole process. Immediate implants don’t have this delay, saving you time and repeated visits to the dentist’s office.

An immediate implant provides a strong tooth root replacement like traditional implants. This prevents the loss in jawbone that causes your face to sag, and prevents surrounding teeth from shifting.

What Is the Procedure for an Immediate Implant?

The procedure is similar to traditional implants. You will be required to have an assessment to ensure you qualify for this procedure. Your dentist will review your oral health history and they may take x-rays of the area.

If you are a suitable candidate for the implant, this is a good chance to ask any questions you may have regarding the procedure.

You will then have a scheduled appointment for your procedure. Your dentist will give you a local anesthesia to numb any pain before extracting the damaged tooth. The dentist will take care here to avoid any tissue or bone damage during the extraction.

Once the tooth is removed, the empty socket will be cleaned and prepared for the immediate implant. The titanium implant is screwed into the jawbone before a temporary crown is fitted to complete the procedure.

Once the area around the implant has healed, you will have an appointment to have a permanent crown fitted to replace the temporary one.

After-Care

With proper care, implants can last a lifetime. Your dentist will advise you on looking after your implant. In the days straight after the procedure, this will include:

  • taking any medication your dentist prescribed
  • resting up for at least a day after the procedure
  • eating only soft foods, while also avoiding hot and spicy foods
  • continuing with your normal oral care routine at home
  • avoiding any oral products that are abrasive
  • avoiding alcohol and tobacco

Going forward, you would care for your immediate implant as you would the rest of your teeth. This means brushing your teeth twice a day, daily flossing and regular dental check-ups.

Can Anyone Have Immediate Implants?

Before you qualify as a candidate for an implant, you will need to tick a few boxes. Your dentist will need to evaluate your overall oral health to ensure an implant has every chance of being successful. This is one of the main purposes of an initial assessment appointment.

Your dentist will check for signs of gum disease, inflammation, or infection that could cause complications and slow the healing process. Any oral health issue will need to be treated first before an implant can be fitted.

The jawbone around the missing tooth needs to be strong enough to support the implant. Jawbone density can be lost when you have missing teeth — and that is why it is recommended that you replace a lost tooth as soon as possible. Strong bone helps to stabilize the implant. If jawbone has been lost, you may require a bone graft before you can have an implant fitted.

Smokers can also be at a disadvantage in qualifying for implants, as smoking impacts the healing process. Having a chronic disorder such as heart disease could also affect your suitability for an implant, although an evaluation would be required first to assess the possibility.

What Are the Benefits of Implants?

The overall benefits of an immediate implant are the same as traditional dental implants. The primary difference is that the restoration of the tooth is immediate as it can be done on the same day you have a tooth extracted. Further benefits of an immediate implant include:

  • fewer dental appointments
  • restore your smile very quickly
  • return to eating favourite foods
  • reduced risk of gum disease or cavities
  • jawbone remains intact and face won’t sag

Dental implants such as immediate implants to replace missing teeth have a range of potential benefits. These include:

  • Permanent replacement tooth roots as the implant is fused to the bone
  • Made to resemble your natural teeth to enhance your appearance
  • Helps to restore confidence in your smile when meeting people in both your personal and professional life, a boost for self-esteem
  • Last a lifetime given proper care
  • More comfortable than other options like dentures as implants do not move, which also makes chewing a lot easier
  • More convenient as you do not need to remove implants or buy adhesives to keep them in place
  • Your speech isn’t affected, as it might be with dentures
  • Easier to clean between individual implants
  • Neighbouring teeth stay intact

In general, dental implants have a success rate of 98%. They provide a permanent replacement for missing teeth, one which can last a lifetime when given the proper care.

Immediate implants provide the benefits of dental implants for fewer visits to the dentist’s chair. Providing you are a suitable candidate, you can have your implant fitted the same day as your tooth extraction.

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