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Questions regarding dental implants – answers by Alena Butkevica, Doctor of Science!

Dental implants are the cutting-edge, most convenient and most aesthetically pleasing solution to replacing a missing tooth or multiple teeth. Dr Alena Butkevica compares implantation to planting a tree – if the jawbone is strong enough, the implant can be installed immediately, and its lifespan will be long.

How long of a time period will I have to spend with a missing tooth before I can get the implant?

Modern dentistry allows us to create a temporary solution during your first visit to the dentist’s office, and it is just as aesthetically pleasing as the actual implant. Therefore, in cases where a tooth is missing due to trauma, illness or age, the patient can leave the dentist's office with a beautiful smile immediately.

Will the implants last me a lifetime, or will I have to change them after a while?

It depends on each case – there are people who live their entire lives with an implant, and there are cases where complications occur, and the implant must be changed. But the best thing about an implant is its functionality which can be compared to a Lego brick – it can be replaced basically at any time with minimal complications.

What is bone grafting? What happens in cases where the jawbone isn’t strong enough to support the implant?

Bone grafting is a dental procedure during which a bone-substitute is used to rebuild the jawbone. Both natural and synthetic materials may be used for this procedure.

A dentist will cut open the gum into which the bone-substitute is placed and covered with mucous membrane. On average, 4 to 6 months later the transplanted bone has grown enough new bone to support a dental implant.

As any modern procedure, bone grafting is not painful. It is performed in the least invasive way to cause the patient as little discomfort as humanly possible.

Should I take any precautions after getting an implant?

You should get used to having an implant relatively fast – you’ll be able to eat, talk, laugh as you always have without the fear that the implant might fall out, move around or break.

Dental implants must be cared for in the same way as you take care of your natural teeth (brushing, flossing), but you won’t have to do anything specific.

The dentists in Dr Butkevica’s dental practice all follow the principle “treat you patients in the same way as you would treat yourself”. We also follow the rule that the patient should not experience any pain during the procedure, nor after it.