Is age a deterrent to the placement of implants? No, when Dr Bergman was in practice, the oldest human patient he treated was 92 years of age, the youngest 16. As a general rule however, it is prudent to wait until the facial bones have matured before placing implants. Bone matures around the age of 21.
Do implants fail? All implants can succeed and all implants can fail. An implant is considered a failure if the implant fails to knit with the bone (osseointegration) and generally occurs within the first three months. The main factor in the success or failure of an implant is proper patient selection and careful treatment planning. It is critical that the clinician have experience in dental implants to ensure success. Although failure of an implant is disappointing for both the clinician and the patient, the implant can be replaced after a few months of healing should the reason for failure be corrected.
How long do implants last? A competent, well trained, experienced dentist should expect osseointegration rates of in excess of 95%. As a general rule, once an implant has been placed for a year, a patient should expect a 98% success rate over the next four five years. Dr Bergman has implants still successfully in place after 30 years.
Do implants reject? There are no recorded cases of rejection of a titanium or HA coated implant. Implants can become infected however with their subsequent failure.
Does a patient need to be hospitalized? Very few implant placement procedures require hospitalization for the surgery. With proper surgical technique, the procedure should be no more stressful than a tooth extraction. Implant placement is generally an in office procedure under local anaesthetic. Sedation is available for those who wish it on most general practices..
Is the implant placement procedure painful? Post operative discomfort should be no worse than having a tooth removed. Most of the post operative symptoms can be drastically reduced by using advanced implant placement technique.
Can I experience improvement immediately? Yes, healing implants should not be placed under heavy loads during the initial few weeks in order to encourage the bone to ”knit” with the implant. There are procedures and implants designed especially for “immediate” loading. An experienced, properly trained dentist will be aware of these implants and procedures.