Monthly Archives: December 2020

How long do dental implants last

Did Your Dental Implant Fall Out?

Dental implants are designed to last a lifetime. They’re not supposed to fall out, and when placed by an experienced oral surgeon, there’s very little chance of that happening.

However, we occasionally get calls from patients requesting help for an implanted tooth that has fallen out. Why does this happen?

How long do dental implants last

An Issue with the Implant Abutment

Dental implants are constructed with three components:

  • The titanium post, a screw-like piece that is placed in the jawbone to function as a root for the implanted tooth
  • The ceramic crown, the visible part of the implant designed to closely resemble nearby teeth
  • The implant abutment, the component that connects the artificial tooth root to the crown

When a patient thinks that their implanted tooth has fallen out, it’s this last part — the abutment — that’s typically to blame. This is good news, as oral surgeons can usually solve the problem by placing a new abutment and reattaching the crown.

Failure of the Titanium Implant Post

It is quite rare for the dental implant post to become loose. However, if it does, it is generally due to a complication during osseointegration, the three- to six-month process in which the titanium post fuses to the surrounding jawbone tissue.

But when this happens, the implant post doesn’t just suddenly fall out. Before a replacement tooth root reaches the point of failure, patients realize there’s a problem. Noticeable warning signs include:

  • A feeling that the implanted tooth isn’t stable
  • Pain occurring months after implant surgery
  • Bleeding and inflammation in the gum tissues
  • Receding gum tissues around the implant
  • Difficulty or discomfort when biting and chewing

What to Do if Your Dental Implant Falls Out

Any issue with an implanted tooth should prompt an immediate call to your oral surgeon. You want to keep your dental implants in place, and addressing problems early on makes them easier to solve.

If part of your implant has fallen out, bring it to your appointment with your oral surgeon. In the meantime, keep food away from the area where the replacement tooth is located and use an alcohol-free, antibacterial mouthwash or rinse. And above all, try not to worry — oral surgeons are experts in tooth restoration, and getting professional attention as soon as possible means that complete implant failure is highly unlikely.

Do you have a problem with an implanted tooth? If you’re in the greater east central Indiana area, turn to Richmond Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. Our oral surgeons have more than 10 years of experience in implant surgery, and we know how to resolve issues, address complications and help patients get beautiful, functional smiles.

To schedule a dental implant treatment consultation, contact Richmond Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery today.

What is bone grafting for oral surgery

A Basic Guide to Bone Grafting for Oral Surgery

If your oral surgeon has recommended bone grafting, you may find the idea to be a bit disconcerting. This is completely understandable, but we’d like to put your mind at ease.

Bone grafting is a routine, in-office procedure that takes very little time — and oral surgery anesthesia ensures you a comfortable, pain-free experience. Recovery is typically smooth and easy, and if you follow your oral surgeon’s aftercare instructions, complications are extremely unlikely.

Some patients find that learning more about bone grafting helps calm their nerves. You can always ask the oral surgeons at Richmond Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery for details on the procedure, but first, take a look at the following guide.

What is bone grafting for oral surgery

When Is Bone Grafting Recommended?

Jawbone atrophy, or degeneration of the jaw, can be a crucial concern — and bone graft surgery can reverse the condition.

Atrophy occurs naturally with aging, but tooth loss can hasten it. When teeth are missing, the jawbone lacks stimulation from the roots and begins to degenerate. Grafting is often recommended to stave off future tooth loss, preserve jaw health and maintain a youthful appearance. In addition, getting a jawbone graft may be an essential step to preparing for dental implant surgery.

Types of Bone Grafts Oral Surgeons Use

When performing bone graft surgery, oral surgeons use one of four materials. These include:

  • Autografts, or bone tissue harvested from the patient
  • Allografts, or natural human bone from a tissue bank
  • Xenografts, or biocompatible bovine or porcine tissue
  • Alloplasts, or bone tissue made from synthetic materials

The type of jawbone graft your oral surgeon chooses depends on several factors, but they don’t make the decision alone. Patients are asked for their input, and their preferences are given consideration.

What to Expect After Bone Graft Surgery

Bone grafting is a minimally invasive procedure, and recovery is typically problem-free.

After getting a jawbone graft, patients may experience a few uncomfortable side effects. Mild swelling, redness and bruising are common, as are minor aches and pain. These symptoms dissipate fairly quickly, lasting only a day or two in most cases. Ice packs and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such ibuprofen or naproxen are usually enough to keep patients comfortable after bone grafting. Complications are rare, particularly for those who follow their oral surgeon’s aftercare instructions.

Do you need bone graft surgery? You’ll be in good hands if you schedule the procedure at Richmond Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. Our highly skilled oral surgeons place jawbone grafts every day, and we’re known throughout the greater east central Indiana area for our compassionate, caring approach to oral surgery.

For more information, or to schedule a bone grafting consultation, contact our office in Richmond, Indiana, today.