Dental Implant Recovery

Recovering from Dental Implant Surgery

In this special blog post, we thought we would take a moment to look at the recovery period of dental implant surgery. The post-operative stage of implant surgery is something we’re asked about all the time, and we’ve noticed that a whole lot of people have the wrong idea about the healing process.

By this end of this post, we hope you have a more precise understanding of the different approaches to implant surgery and their respective recovery processes. We’ll explore the various symptoms of early recovery, and we’ll tell you which signs to watch out for, as well as foods you should avoid during this crucial period.

We hope you enjoy this post, and if you have any questions while you’re reading, don’t hesitate to contact Dr. Suzanne Caudry and her helpful team at (416) 928-3444.

Dental Implant Surgery Myths

Time and time again, we hear from clients who want dental implants, but they’re hesitant to follow through. They’re worried about the stigma that comes with implants, or they’re worried that their teeth will look fake. Some are worried about the durability of implants, and others are worried about the pain of post-operative recovery.

The team at Dr. Caudry’s facility is here to dispel these many harmful myths. Dental implants are incredibly common these days—among people of all ages and walks of life. People get implants for a variety of reasons, and it doesn’t mean that they were unable to care for their natural teeth. As for the appearance of implants, dental implants have the look—and strength— of natural teeth. Their resemblance to natural teeth is precisely why many people fail to realize just how pervasive they are.

Lastly, there is the issue of post-surgical recovery. Many envision themselves lying in bed for days or even weeks after an extensive implant surgery. They imagine themselves eating through a straw with swollen cheeks and severe headaches. While that might be the case for other operations, this is not the case for dental implant surgery when you’re under the care of professionals such as Dr. Caudry.

What to Expect During the Recovery Stage

If it’s not the nightmare that people assume it is, what can one expect from the recovery process?

Recovery symptoms take roughly 5-7 days to subside in the case of a conventional implant surgery where there are no bone grafts or tooth extractions. Recovery time for a single tooth replacement will be much shorter than if you received multiple implants. During this estimated week, you might experience swelling, slight discomfort, and minor bleeding.

The First Day of Recovery

The first day of recovery is often when symptoms are most severe. For the first 30 minutes after surgery, we advise you to apply pressure to the side of your mouth. Minor bleeding is common during these 30 minutes, so do not be alarmed.

You will be able to leave our facilities shortly after your surgery is complete. Upon returning home, you might notice swelling or slight discomfort, but this is completely normal. These are all signs that your body is healing itself. We recommend that you rest as much as you can on the first day. Your immune system will thank you for that extra bit of rest.

Is Pain Medication Recommended?

After your surgery is complete, we will give you a prescription for medication to help you through the week of symptoms. We advise you to take the medication regularly so as to stay ahead of any soreness or pain. There are also a number of alternatives to prescription pain medications. Some of our patients report having great success with using Advil and Tylenol for pain relief. Our recommended doses for these medications are:

  • 3 Advil Liqui-Gels and 2 Regular Strength Tylenol
  • 3 Advil Liqui-Gels and 1 Extra Strength Tylenol

Medications are to be taken every 4-6 hours, as needed and directed by a doctor. One of our knowledgeable team members will inform you of a pain management plan that’s catered to your specific needs and health situation. As every patient is different, we recommend talking to one of our professionals before taking any medication.

Do You Prescribe Antibiotics?

We prescribe antibiotics in some scenarios. As always, take the antibiotics as directed. These antibiotics will relieve pain and also protect you from minor infections.

Swelling After Dental Implant Surgery

Many people worry their faces will be incredibly swollen after receiving tooth implants. You should expect to see swelling for the 2-3 days following the procedure. For the first 24-hour period, we suggest placing an icepack on the swollen area. Place the icepack for twenty minutes, remove the ice pack for twenty minutes, and repeat.

If swelling persists, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Bleeding After Dental Surgery

Bleeding after your dental implant surgery is normal. If the bleeding persists after the first few hours, follow a few of these steps:

  • Elevate your head as you lie down
  • Apply gauze to the immediate area
  • Place crushed ice in your mouth

We strongly recommend you avoid vigorous rinsing during these stages as well. Too much rinsing could compromise the integrity of the new implant.

What Should I Eat During Dental Implant Recovery?

We suggest that you modify your diet for the duration of the recovery process. It is important that you avoid hard, acidic, or spicy foods, as those could cause discomfort or damage the implant.

Thankfully, there are many wonderful foods out there for you to enjoy. Some of these include:

  • Eggs
  • Fish
  • Oatmeal
  • Rice
  • Bananas
  • Avocado
  • Noodles
  • Baked beans
  • And more

What About Brushing and Rinsing After Surgery?

Many people are wary of brushing and rinsing after receiving their dental implant, but they shouldn’t be. All that’s required is a little bit of caution and care. Following surgery, we give you an effective prescription mouthwash called Peridex. Use Peridex twice a day for four days following surgery. After the four days, apply a drop of Peridex to the surgical site with a Q-tip.

Brushing after surgery is also very straightforward. Avoid brushing the surgical site for ten days following surgery, while continuing to brush and floss the rest of your teeth.

Is There a Follow-Up Appointment?

We schedule a 10-day follow-up after your surgery. During the post-op visit, we will remove any sutures that have not dissolved, and also clear the surgical site.

Post-Recovery

Having a stunning smile has never been more accessible as it is with our beautiful dental implants. Restore your smile. Restore your confidence. Get in touch with Dr. Suzanne Caudry’s dental office today.


Dental Bone Graft Surgery

Not everyone is familiar with dental bone graft surgery. Those who are, are not too keen on ‘dental’ and ‘surgery’ so close together in the same sentence.

We’re here to tell you that a bone graft is nothing to fear. Believe it or not, it is quite common—and the process itself is no challenge to any experienced oral surgeon.

We’ve decided to provide a quick overview of dental bone graft surgery, targeting a few key questions, such as:

  • What exactly is a dental bone graft?
  • Who needs a dental bone graft?
  • What does the surgical process entail?
  • And more!

We hope you find this information helpful. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us at 416-928-3444.

What Is a Dental Bone Graft?

Simply put, a dental bone graft is the addition of bone-like material—or actual bone—to the jaw. Why would anyone want to add bone to a jawbone, you ask? The reason for doing so is to increase the volume of bone in the wake of bone loss.

The concept of bone loss seems a little strange, but it can happen. Bone loss might stem from a traumatic injury, or simply the loss of an adult tooth. In either case, the solution is the same. The bone graft procedure ensures you do not experience any unnecessary bone loss in the future.

How Do Bone Grafts Work?

Contrary to what most people think, bone graft material does not take the place of your pre-existing bone. A bone graft acts as a platform for the surrounding jawbone to grow upon. Over time, the newly grown bone fully replaces the bone graft, while the original graft materials are absorbed into the body.

How Long Does a Bone Graft Take to Heal?

The healing time varies from procedure to procedure. While the initial recovery period may only take two weeks, you may have to wait 3-6 months for the new bone to develop sufficiently. During the waiting and recovery period, you will be to go about your life with little discomfort or worry.

Once there is enough solid bone mass to support a new dental implant, we can begin the preparations for your new tooth implant.

Four Common Kinds of Bone Grafts

Today, there are more than just one or two types of bone grafts. These types of grafts are the autograft, allograft, synthetic graft, and the xenograft.

Autograft

An autograft, also known as an autologous bone graft, is a bone taken from the patient’s own body and placed in the desired part of the jaw. When it comes to dental procedures, the autograft is typically harvested from the hard palate, chin, or jaw.

The drawback of the autograft is that an additional surgical site is required, but the process also has its benefits. There is a very low risk of infection or graft rejection since the bone is coming from the person’s body.

Allograft

Rather than taking bone from a part of your body, an allograft requires bone from a donor. One of the benefits of this type of graft is that it does not require additional surgery. In the past, there have been concerns about infections, but these days donor tissue is thoroughly checked for any infections or incompatibilities prior to grafting.

Synthetic Graft

Synthetic grafts consist of safe biomaterials that act as the bone tissue. These biocompatible materials are made from proteins that are found in our bodies, giving them the greatest chance to bond and grow new jawbone. With no additional surgical sites required and an incredibly low risk of infection, the synthetic graft is favored by many professionals.

Xenograft

A xenograft is similar to what van Meekeren’s soldier received. The graft comes from a donor. Any graft that uses bone from a species that is not human is considered a xenograft. As you might have guessed, these grafts are not all that common in today’s practices.

The preferred source for a bone graft varies from patient to patient. Some may benefit from synthetic materials, while others might be a perfect candidate for an autograft.

As we have established, an oral surgeon doesn’t perform jawbone restoration for the sake of doing so. It is done to better people and their dental health.

Who Is Bone Grafting for?

People who have lost teeth are strong candidates for a bone graft. When a tooth is lost, jawbone growth ceases. This is because jawbone growth is stimulated by the activity of chewing and biting. Without the stimulation of chewing and biting, that area of the jawbone can deteriorate.

In the very first year after a tooth is extracted, 25% of the jawbone in that area is lost. Progressive bone loss affects your mouth and overall health in a variety of ways. You’ll see a significant decrease in the gum tissue, and your choices for a tooth replacement will narrow. If you lose more and more teeth over time, your facial appearance could even be altered.

Thankfully, these issues are completely avoidable. Bone grafting surgery is a viable option for most individuals, and it is available through none other than Dr. Suzanne Caudry.

Dental Bone Graft Surgery with Dr. Caudry

Bone graft surgery doesn’t take that long, believe it or not. It begins with the careful removal of the decayed tooth and the removal of the surrounding damaged tissue (a process known as debridement). Once the area is prepared, we will proceed with shaping the biocompatible allograft (made from donor material) to fit the area.

After the material is placed in the jawbone, the healing process begins. As more time passes, the new bone forms and strengthens. Once the area has adequate bone density, we will begin planning your upcoming dental implant surgery! 

Do You Want to Learn More About Bone Grafting?

If you’d like to learn more about bone grafting, Dr. Caudry’s practice, or other topics related to oral surgery and dentistry, check our blog for future updates!


Dental Bone Reconstruction

Whenever we mention bone grafts to our patients, their responses vary from confusion to mild nervousness. Many people who don’t know about the procedure are shocked by the benefits they have to offer. Others who may have heard of it might not understand how it can be advantageous to them. 

Here, we believe that education is the key to dispelling the misconceptions that dominate people’s fears of the dentist. A little bit of educating can also be beneficial to those who’ve never once thought of visiting the dentist themselves.

We decided to take some time to talk about dental bone reconstruction. Here you will learn about what a bone reconstruction entails, how the process has evolved over the years, why you might need a bone graft, and what the modern-day procedure looks like in our facilities.

Keep on reading to learn more. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us at (416) 928-3444.

The Early Days of Dental Bone Reconstruction

The concept of bone reconstruction and augmentation (simply known as ‘bone grafting’) is nothing new. Bone grafting has been practiced in medicine for quite some time.

Shortly after the invention of the microscope in the early 1600s, Dutch doctor Jacob Van Meekeren performed the first bone grafting operation on a soldier’s damaged skull. Due to very limited resources, however, Doctor Van Meekeren had to be creative during the surgical process. Rather than using human bone, he used dog bone. All things considered however, the surgery was still a success!

Bone grafting developed over the next few hundred years, and in the early 1900s the first ceramic product was cleared for use during bone reconstruction. Today, bone grafting and reconstruction is performed regularly, especially in the field of dentistry.

Who Needs Dental Bone Grafting?

There are a variety of reasons why one person might need a dental bone graft. Typically, it is one of these three reasons:

  • Aesthetic Purposes: Many clients wish to improve the contours around their teeth and preserve their young and healthy face.
  • Bone Loss Prevention: Bone loss is always a concern after a tooth has been extracted. When the bone graft process is performed shortly after an extraction, there is nothing to worry about.
  • Replace Lost Bone: Otherwise known as bone reconstruction.

At the end of the day, bone grafts are used to better improve the health and appearance of your jaw and teeth.

What Causes Bone Loss?

Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is a bacterial infection that damages soft tissue and destroys the bone that supports your teeth. It can cause teeth to loosen, and it can even cause them to fall out.

Gum disease is preventable through proper oral care, such as brushing and flossing regularly. In some cases, however, gum disease will go unchecked for years due to the fact that it is painless until it majorly impacts the gums. Gum disease impacts 50% of the population over 50 years old and also affects the younger population.

When Do You Know Bone Reconstruction is Needed?

In a perfect world, you would visit your dentist frequently enough for them to tell you. Unfortunately, many people are unable to visit their dentist on a routine basis because of other personal and financial obligations.

If you have lost teeth in the past and have begun to notice that your teeth are shifting, that may make you a candidate for bone grafting. Tooth loss leads to bone loss, which can dramatically alter the appearance of your remaining teeth if left unchecked. What’s more, bone loss can weaken your jaw.

If you would like to have a dental implant one day and have had teeth extracted in the past, you’ll most definitely need a bone graft. For any dental implant to successfully take hold, your jawbone needs to be strong and healthy.

What are Modern Day Bone Grafts Made From?

In the world of periodontics, there are currently four types of bone grafts.

First is the Xenograft. A Xenograft refers to when a bone is taken from an animal source and transported into your body. While this might seem outlandish, it isn’t! They’re commonly used in many forms of surgery, they’re readily available, and their success rate is well documented.

There is also the Alloplast Bone Graft. The Alloplast stands out for being synthetically made. Commonly used in surgery, this readily available option has also had much well-documented success, and there is zero risk of disease transmission.

Another method is the Autograft. With an Autograft, bone is surgically taken from one part of your body and transplanted to another part. Like the other methods, the success of the Autograft is more than well-documented. Unfortunately, however, the Autograft may not be an option for some patients.

Which brings us to the last option, which just so happens to be the preferred method of Dr. Caudry: The Allograft

The Allograft: The Safe and Effective Approach to Dental Bone Reconstruction  

The Allograft material is made from donor bone, and it is our preferred material for dental bone grafts. Time and time again, we have seen this safe, biocompatible material aid the body in making new bone and preserving all existing bone in the process.

The Dental Bone Reconstruction Procedure with Dr. Caudry

The bone reconstruction procedure typically takes one hour, while the recovery period takes about two weeks. It will take about 4-6 months for the graft to become a solid bone mass. After the donor bone has successfully integrated, you will be the perfect candidate for a new dental implant.

Does the Bone Graft Procedure Hurt?

Not at all! Patients are typically sedated during the procedure, and many report feeling no pain at all while the graft heals and bone integrates. The bone graft is simply a part of modern dentistry. It doesn’t add discomfort to your life, in many cases, it saves you from future discomfort!

Questions on Bone Reconstruction? Contact Dr. Caudry Today!

The helpful staff at our facility are available to answer any questions you might have at any moment. If you’d like to learn more about bone grafts, or whether you’re a candidate for a dental implant, simply contact us at (416) 928-3444.


The Hollywood Smile

Day after day, we are visited by patients who want to know the same thing: Is it possible to achieve that picture-perfect smile if you do not already have it? Is extensive oral surgery required, or is it really all about what toothpaste you use?

The short answer is: Yes. How one goes about achieving the smile they’ve always wanted, however, varies from person to person.

Patients of ours are always surprised when they learn what brings out the best in their teeth and what brings out the worst, so we decided to devote some time to the topic of the fabled ‘Hollywood Smile’. What makes teeth shine? Are you stuck with the teeth you were born with? Will a missing molar impact the look of your incisors and premolars? Read on to find out!

The Science Behind the Hollywood Smile

Several years ago, there was a study carried out by researchers at Central Lancashire University and Leeds University. When shown images of men and women smiling, the volunteers selected those with evenly spaced and the whitest teeth as the most attractive.

The researchers inquired a little deeper into the reasons for this and concluded that human teeth are similar to a peacock’s tail, meaning they’re a sign of good health. For better or worse, that’s what comes to mind when we see an attractive smile. 

But that’s not all we are seeing.

What We Talk About When We Talk About Smiles

When someone smiles, they radiate confidence, warmth, and self-esteem. These contagious qualities can brighten a room as much as any pearly set of teeth. When someone smiles, we’re seeing the best and brightest parts of someone—not just their teeth.

For many, though, the one thing that is keeping their smiles at bay is that their teeth don’t quite look how they want them to. They feel uncomfortable laughing in front of their friends and colleagues because they’re unhappy with crooked, damaged, missing, or stained teeth. 

And when we say ‘many’, we mean many. A study conducted by Wakefield Research (commissioned by the American Association of Orthodontists) revealed that more than 33% of American adults are unhappy with their smile. Of that one-third, 36% believe they’d have a more fulfilling social life if their teeth were more beautiful.

What Constitutes the Picture-Perfect Smile

We all know a nice smile when we see it, but when asked what sets one smile apart from another, few people are really able to give detailed answers.

In the world of cosmetic dentistry, there is a set of criteria that periodontists and dentists adhere to when working with their client to create the perfect proportional smile.

If someone’s wonderful teeth strike us, the teeth typically adhere to several or all these criteria:

  • Teeth aligned to the eye line
  • Teeth on the left side should correspond to those on the right side, as well as top/bottom symmetry
  • Edges of the teeth follow the curve of the bottom lip
  • A gum line which follows the line of the upper lip
  • Teeth with curved edges
  • Crescent-shaped gums
  • Proper tooth proportions

Is there any smile on earth that checks all these boxes? Not that we’ve seen. But what some might consider being imperfections aren’t imperfections at all. They’re the things that make every person and their smile unique and beautiful. 

How to Get the Smile You Want

As we said, there is no one route to the perfect smile. Some people might be unable to remove the yellow stain from their teeth, while others might have crooked teeth that require braces or an OIR (Oral Invisible Retainer) to be straightened.

Here at the facilities of Dr. Suzanne Caudry, there are several procedures we can perform to give you a smile you’ve always wanted from dental crown lengthening to gum disease treatment, and more! For years, Dr. Caudry, Ph.D., DDS, MSc. has been at the forefront of her field. The goal of her practice is to provide exceptional treatment that incorporates her vast clinical experience with the latest developments in scientific research.

Dr. Caudry does more than just incorporate research into her practice. Actively involved in her own research, Dr. Caudry presents her findings at conferences around the world, helping to further the field of periodontics at large. Rest assured, when you’re in our care, you receive only the most cutting-edge treatment from the most caring and considerate staff.

What Dr. Suzanne Caudry Can Do for Your Smile: Crown Lengthening

Some feel self-conscious about their teeth because they appear to be ‘too short’. While some may informally call these baby teeth, there are many cases where the teeth have simply been worn down over time and need lengthening. In some cases, the teeth are simply covered by too much gum.

We can correct these minor issues with a cosmetic procedure known as crown lengthening. Crown lengthening is a periodontal procedure where the bone and gums are shaped to create more proportional smiles.

How Long Does the Crown Lengthening Procedure Take?  

Don’t worry, the wait for the perfect smile isn’t long. This procedure takes approximately one hour. When completed, sutures are placed on the gums.

Fill Out Your Smile with Dental Implants

If you’ve lost a tooth in an accident, or a decaying tooth has been extracted from your mouth, you might be feeling self-conscious about that less-than-toothy smile.

Dental implants succeed in replacing single, several, or all your teeth. Consisting of small titanium screws, an abutment, and a ceramic crown designed to look like a healthy proportioned tooth, dental implants are practical and long-lasting solutions for missing teeth.

One missing tooth, after all, can have negative impacts on your other teeth and your oral health. Even if you are missing a molar that is unnoticeable to the naked eye, that gap of space might cause your other teeth to shift, altering the smile you currently have!

Let Us Begin to Build Your New Smile Today! 

If you have more questions, or you’d like to schedule a consultation, contact us at (416) 928-3444.


Frequently Asked Questions About Dental Implant Surgery

Frequently Asked Questions About Dental Implant Surgery

Here at our facilities, we value education in all its forms. Dr. Caudry, who leads conferences globally, is actively involved in dental implantology research and also fulfills her duties as a clinical instructor at the University of Toronto.

Educating ourselves in matters related to implantology, innovations in oral care, and administrative duties, isn’t for our benefit—it is for the benefit of you, the patient. The more confident we are in our ability to care for you, the more comfortable you will surely feel.

We also believe that educating our clients is essential. With so many anxieties surrounding oral hygiene and visits to the dentist’s office, we thought we could dispel certain doubts, fears, and concerns by covering the basics of dental implant surgery.

Who Is an Ideal Candidate for Dental Implants?

This can be a challenging question to answer because every case is so individual and unique. And here, there is nothing we respect more than the individual nature of every patient.

That said, there are some cases where someone might not be the best candidate—though nothing can ever be certain until you are fully assessed. Some of these include:

  • Young individuals whose jawbones have not finished growing
  • Pregnant women
  • Individuals with connective-tissue diseases, hemophilia, immune deficiencies, or chronic diseases
  • Individuals not willing to commit to post-operative oral care and ongoing hygienic practices

As for others with healthy jawbones and no compromising conditions to speak of, they still find themselves wondering if their missing or decaying tooth (or teeth) makes them a candidate. They wonder if they are entitled to the same treatment and care as others.

To them, we say that if they feel as though they’ve been robbed of confidence, happiness, or simply a beautiful smile, they are an ideal candidate. While there are many health-related reasons to pursue dental implant surgery, there is no wrong reason. Our goal is to restore both your health, your happiness, or both.

What Is a Tooth Implant Made From?

A dental implant consists of three components: A base, a crown, and an abutment.

The base is a small screw made from titanium, a type of metal that was discovered in the mid-20th century to fuse with the bone. The base acts as an anchor, much like the root of an actual tooth. The abutment, sometimes known as a connector, is what secures the base to the crown. Lastly, there is the crown. The crown is the tooth-like part of the implant. Typically, this is made from a ceramic material and is designed so as to give the appearance of a perfectly healthy tooth.

Are Tooth Implants Strong?

Many people operate under the assumption that dental implants are significantly more brittle than natural human teeth. In reality, dental implants are the strongest tooth replacement option in existence today.

It can be hard to determine just how strong a dental implant will be, because like we always say: Every case is different. The strength of your implant depends on a variety of factors, such as:

  • Overall Dental Health
  • The Strength of the Jawbone
  • Current Strength of the Natural Teeth

Your jawbone’s ability to heal around the implant plays a major factor in the stability of your new implant. If you suffer from gum disease, all of your teeth might feel less stable in your mouth—even your implant. Your dental implant and the gums that surround them are just as susceptible to infection as natural teeth, so proper oral hygiene is strongly advised.

Whereas a natural tooth is anchored to the tooth’s gums by its roots, an implant is anchored—fused, actually—to the bone. This makes the implant function differently than a natural tooth, and in some contexts might even make the tooth stronger than a natural tooth. With dental implants being fused to the bone, they’re not permitted the same amount of movement as natural teeth.

Is Caring for a Dental Implant Difficult?

As we said earlier, dental implants are vulnerable to bacteria, plaque, and oral infections, just like natural teeth.

If you are concerned about the health and strength of your dental implant, the best thing you can do is make sure your gums and jawbone remain healthy and strong. When your oral hygiene is optimal, the health of your implant will be, too.

One of the most important parts of our practice is our periodontal hygiene program. This circles back to one of our foremost priorities, which is educating our patients in ways both big and small.

While we offer a variety of hygiene services in our facilities, such as deep scaling, antibacterial treatments, fluoride treatment, polishing, and whitening, we place even greater importance on what clients can do for themselves at home.

To preserve your dental implant and overall oral health, we recommend:

  • Brushing minimum twice a day with a soft-bristle toothbrush
  • Low-abrasive toothpaste
  • Nylon-coated interdental brushes for hard-to-reach areas
  • Daily flossing

What Happens During the Dental Implant Procedure?

Depending on what oral surgeon you choose to work with, the answer to this question could vary. That is why it is always important to do your homework and ask the right questions during your assessments or consultations.

With Dr. Caudry, you only receive the most cutting-edge care, ensuring optimal comfort unmatched accuracy. This is made possible in part because of Dr. Caudry and her exceptional staff, but also because of computer-guided surgery. With computer guided surgery, we eliminate the messiness of dental impressions, the prolonged surgical process, and the many uncomfortable aspects of oral surgery.

Prior to the computer-guided surgical process, we ask that you come into our facilities for a brief appointment. We will perform a non-invasive intraoral scan with our digital scanner, and also a CBCT scan. After that, we merge the two scans and get to work on planning every single step of the implant surgery. With these digital technologies, outcomes are superior to those of past methods.

As dental implantology continues to progress, we will continue to advance with it. The comfort of our patient is our foremost concern. That is why Dr. Caudry was one of the first practitioners in North America to master these digital technologies nearly 15 years ago.

For More Information on Dental Implants, Call Us Today

If you have other questions, do not hesitate to contact us at (416) 928-3444!


Dental Implant Planning: Then, Now, and the Future

Dental Implant Planning: Then, Now, and the Future

Though there has been a fairly recent rise in oral implantology in the last several decades, the origins of implants go back much further than most people think. The modern age of implants began only in 1950, but even then, implants and the practices of oral surgeons were quite primitive. Things have changed significantly since then. The last fifteen years have seen us make incredible strides in the field.

In the interest of de-mystifying the practice of dental implant planning, we thought we’d provide an overview of the practice itself. By the end, you’ll see that a visit to our facility will be nothing like your last dental appointment––ten, fifteen, or twenty years ago.

We hope that by illustrating the ways in which implantology has advanced over the last few decades, you’ll feel more comfortable going into your next dental appointment.

The Early Days of Dental Implants

As early as the year 2000 BC, primitive versions of dental implants were used in ancient Chinese civilizations. Rather than using an artificial tooth made from ceramic material, they used carved pieces of bamboo. Those tooth-shaped bamboo pegs were then tapped into the bone where the missing tooth was. In 500 BC, the Etruscans fashioned their replacements from the bones of oxen. The Phoenicians of 300 AD, who had previously used gold wire to stabilize unhealthy teeth, would even carve their teeth out of ivory.

These days, the implant process is much more involved, as it requires more than just one single piece. There is the ‘implant,’ the ‘abutment,’ and the ‘crown,’ which we will get to later.

It took another two thousand years for civilizations to implement metal-based pegs. The Egyptians made peg-like implants from a variety of different precious metals. In the 20th century, archaeologists discovered the remains of a Mayan whose incisors had been replaced with pieces of shells. What’s more, there is evidence that these shell pieces didn’t just simply serve aesthetic purposes. The bone growth around the pieces showed that the primitive implant was strong enough to also be functional.

Tooth Implants in Recent History

Like most medical practices, there came something of a lull in dental implantology. For hundreds of years, many dental professionals in Europe resorted to working with grave robbers who would take teeth from the mouths of less-than-fortunate cadavers.

In the 18th century, we saw researchers experiment with golds and alloys—with little success. In the late 19th century, the procedure was attempted with porcelain, but with no long-term success.

What these practitioners began to realize was that dental implants needed to become permanently fused with an individual’s jawbone for them to succeed as tooth replacements. This process of fusing with the jawbone is known as ‘osseointegration’ and was actually discovered entirely by accident in the year 1952 by the Swedish researcher Per-Ingvar Branemark. During an experiment, Dr. Branemark had placed a small piece of titanium in the femur of a rabbit and found he was unable to remove it. That was the moment Branemark realized the titanium had fused itself to the bone.

This massive leap in knowledge spurned the next sixty years of implantology research and development.

The Dental Implant Procedure Today

Today’s dental implants are built upon the same principles laid forth by Branemark and his contemporaries. They’re made from a high-grade titanium alloy, ensuring optimal osseointegration, and are screw shaped.

However, in the decades since this discovery, there have still been many, many developments. Medical anesthesiologists have advanced, implant technologies have progressed, and there has been an even greater emphasis on patient comfort and accessibility.

And there has been no greater improvement to the overall doctor and patient experiences than the advent of digital dentistry and computer-guided surgery.

Digital Dental Implant Surgery: The Way of the Future

In the interest of greater accuracy, shorter surgeries, and quality of care, Dr. Suzanne Caudry, and her staff have integrated digital workflows into our practice. With the use of intraoral scanners, three-dimensional bone scans, and more, Dr. Caudry operates a practice at the forefront of digital dentistry and oral surgery.

In fact, in 2005, Dr. Caudry was one of the very first surgeons in North America to be trained in computer-guided surgery and other digital practices. But growth and development didn’t stop there. Dr. Caudry’s work takes her outside of her practice on a regular basis. Dr. Caudry is a clinical instructor in the Department of Periodontics at the University of Toronto, and also runs regular Study Clubs for dentists practicing in the Greater Toronto Area––for dentists who are eager to learn more about periodontics and implantology. What’s more, she is regularly invited to share her ongoing research and wealth of knowledge at conferences worldwide.

The Dental Implant Procedure Today: The Intraoral Scanner

You might remember getting dental impressions when you were younger. This process was messy and uncomfortable and literally left you with a bad taste in your mouth.

At our facilities, we use the CEREC Omnicam, a state-of-the-art intraoral scanner, which is a revolutionary little piece of dental equipment used to capture highly detailed 3D dental impressions in mere minutes. There is none of the mess of putty-like material, and no worries of discomfort or gagging.

A Periodontist Who Prioritizes the Comfort of the Patient

Computer-guided surgery and these other innovative technologies allow for Dr. Caudry and her team to plan your surgery from start-to-finish before you even sit in the dentist’s chair. With these technologies comes the promise of greater accuracy, less discomfort, and less time spent in the dentist’s chair overall.

Needless to say, if your last visit to the dentist was in your childhood, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find that a present-day visit is nothing like you could have imagined.

Are You Starting to Think You Might Need Dental Implants?

If you have any other questions about our treatments and procedures, we invite you to contact our office today at (416) 928-3444.


Dental Implant Restoration

The field of dentistry is constantly being brought forward by brilliant minds looking to improve their practice and the lives of their patients. Innovative technologies have altered the way bone scans are performed, and they’ve increased implant accuracy exponentially.

While dental implants have come a long way since their earliest forms, there are still those few people whose implants become damaged and need to be replaced over time. That’s right. Even these innovative technologies aren’t indestructible.

While there might be a few cases where an unskilled oral surgeon is responsible for the failure of a dental implant, often, a dental implant will fail because of pre-existing health conditions or poor oral hygiene on the part of the patient.

In this blog post, we thought we could take some time to talk about dental implant damage—how to identify it and what to do—as well as dental implant restoration and what that looks like for the patient.

Dental Implants Then and Now

Throughout human history, evidence shows that different civilizations saw the benefit of dental implants. Granted, those seashell implants from 600 A.D. might not have been as effective as modern-day implants, but that goes without saying! Over time, humans have recognized the downsides of missing teeth.

It wasn’t until the middle of the 20th century, however, that dental implantology saw its great leap forward. In 1952, the orthopedic surgeon Per-Ingvar Brånemark inadvertently discovered upon the process of osseointegration––the course of implants fusing to human bones. Once it was discovered that bones could fuse to metals, then began three decades of research, trials, and errors.

Fast forward today to a time when over 500,000 dental implants are surgically placed each year in America alone. Dental implants are indistinguishable from real teeth, and some individuals may even have multiple implants. Thanks to computer-guided surgery, 3D X-rays and sophisticated bone scanners, the process by which they’re placed is significantly less invasive, more precise, and less time-consuming. Dental implants are available to whoever needs them—especially in Dr. Caudry’s facilities.

Why Do People Get Dental Implants?

Tooth loss is a problem many people face at one point in their lives or another. Whether it is from the non-restorable decay of a cavity, a failed root canal, or gum disease, the loss of a tooth can have dramatic effects on a person’s life.

The negative impacts of tooth loss aren’t just cosmetic, either. Other than the sight of a decaying tooth—or the sight of the gap from a missing tooth—being a source of embarrassment for some, a missing tooth can lead to many dental problems. The extra space can cause the rest of your teeth to shift, and general discomfort can persist for years. What’s more, the gum tissue where one’s tooth used to be will weaken. Once that tissue weakens, and jawbone volume disappears, restoration is extremely difficult.

How Great is Modern-Day Dental Implants?

According to the Journal of Dental Implantology, success rates for dental implants are incredibly high—roughly 96%. But that statistic only considers those who have no pre-existing oral health conditions, practice proper aftercare, and allow for the implant to heal before treating it like a regular tooth.

That said, to say they’re an overwhelming success for most patients is no exaggeration. Day after day, dental implants improve the lives of people near and far. Most people will say that their dental implant has dramatically altered their self-esteem for the better.

Dental Implant Failure: What Are the Causes?

Dental implant failure can occur for a variety of reasons on several different levels. Short-term dental implant failure often occurs when the implant fails to heal in the bone. An implant may not heal in the bone because of a patient’s low bone density, uncontrolled diabetes, or because they’re an active smoker. Poor oral hygiene and untreated gum disease can also put dental implants at risk of failure, too.

As for long-term implant problems, they are similar to the issues that might arise with a real tooth over time. After the implant has healed, the gum area that supports the implant can become infected as a result of poor oral care.

When Will I Know It Is Time to Restore or Replace My Tooth Implant?

Symptoms of implant failure include, but are not limited to:

  • Redness and swelling around the implant
  • Discomfort around the implant site
  • Bad smell or taste in the mouth
  • Gum recession surrounding the implant
  • Discoloration of gums at the implant site
  • Difficulty and discomfort cleaning the implant

These symptoms might even seem familiar to those who have their natural teeth, which should tell you something about dental implants. They’re not immune to infection or decay just because they’re artificial! You should expect to give your dental implants the same care you give your real teeth.

Dr. Caudry’s Dental Implant Rescue

The infections that can spring from gum disease, known as Peri-Implantitis, can be devastating to an individual’s health. Peri-implantitis is what we call the loss of bone around an implant due to the aggressive infection that springs from neglect or any number of health conditions. Thankfully, with early intervention, your implant can be saved and restored to its former glory.

We reverse the bone loss that comes as a result of Peri-implantitis through disinfecting the area and re-preparing the surface of the implant via bone regeneration.

How to Avoid Issues with Your Tooth Implant

As you might have guessed, a dental implant needs to be maintained and cleaned regularly like a real tooth. We offer a variety of treatments to ensure optimal oral hygiene, such as antibacterial irrigation as part of our maintenance program.

Otherwise, we also recommend:

    • Cleaning at least twice a day with an electric or soft-bristle toothbrush
    • Using low-abrasive toothpaste

Perfecting the Patient Experience

The patient experience does not begin when you first sit down in the dentist’s chair or receive your first intra-oral digital scan. It begins at the very first point of contact with us. It begins when you walk through our doors and see our front desk administrator, or the very first time you dial our number.

At the offices of Dr. Suzanne Caudry, we make sure our patients are looked after––from the moment you enter our facilities to the moment you leave. That means making sure every person on our team is capable of addressing any one of our client’s questions and concerns at any moment.

Dr. Suzanne Caudry’s Dream Team

If you take a look at our reviews on RateMD, you will notice a few things right off the bat: The first bit of information you’ll notice is that we come highly recommended, to say the least. We have a 5-star average rating based on 300+ reviews, making us one of the foremost Periodontists in the Toronto area.

The second thing you’ll notice is the praise our staff has received. In many of the reviews, our satisfied clients commented on how Dr. Caudry’s team made them feel at ease, answered their many questions, and helped them navigate the complexities of their insurance claims. 

While much of that is to the credit of Dr. Suzanne Caudry, PhD, DDS, MSc, things could not run smoothly without her “Dream Team” staff.

Many Hands Make Light Work

Without the help of staff to process insurance claims, schedule and cancel appointments, or supervise other staff members, Dr. Caudry would be pulled in far too many directions. Instead of performing digital implant procedures, she’d be answering phones and dealing with accounts payable!

Nothing great is ever accomplished by one individual alone. This goes for surgical procedures as much as it does for the development of any large-scale project. For professionals to do their work, there needs to be a dedicated administrative staff handling the front-of-house duties, and there needs to be someone who is compassionate and attentive at the side of both Dr. Caudry and every patient who steps through our doors.

It requires extensive training and an in-depth knowledge of exactly what it is that Dr. Caudry does, to ensure that everyone from administrative staff and assistants can address every patient’s concern. When staff have an intimate knowledge of hygienic practices, after-care for oral surgeries, and experience with the sedation process, they’re able to tackle some of the most common questions patients have!

The Importance of Educating Our Staff

After receiving training for their roles, our staff aren’t only informed of their roles and responsibilities—they’re also informed of the roles and responsibilities of their colleagues and Dr. Caudry herself. This enables them to answer your questions more thoroughly and troubleshoot common quandaries with ease.

Honest and Accurate Answers Can Keep Patients at Ease

If you were to browse through our practice’s many online reviews, you’ll notice several patients mention feeling anxious for their first-time visits. They discuss feeling nervous about imminent procedures, the types of sedation provided to them, and concerns regarding their insurance coverage.

These feelings are common among almost every first-time (or frequent) patient of any facility. Many people are wary of even a simple check-up with their local dentist, either because of hair-raising childhood experiences or an uneasiness with the sterile environment of a dental facility. Others maybe have avoided visiting a dentist or periodontist for so long that they’ve forgotten it can be a stress-free and accommodating experience.

Some facilities and practices do little to quell these anxieties. When you’re under the care of Dr. Caudry and her dedicated team, however, we make sure our patients are at ease the moment they walk through the door.

If you are awaiting dental implant surgery, our staff will gladly inform you of every step of the procedure. From the freezing process to the suturing of the soft tissues, we will walk you through the process step-by-step. By the time you’re ready to sit with Dr. Caudry, you’ll be more than ready. 

Dr. Caudry: Skilled Clinician and Educator

The breadth of our staff’s knowledge is credited entirely to Dr. Caudry’s unending desire to teach the world about periodontics. In tandem with Dr. Caudry’s private practice is her active role in education. She runs regular Study Clubs for many dentists, in the Greater Toronto Area, interested in broadening their knowledge of periodontics and implant technology.

With a training and education background, Dr. Caudry has ventured to Australia, Montreal, and Toronto for her PhD in Microbiology, Doctor of Dental Surgery, and MSc. Respectively, she continues to lecture internationally, and is actively involved in ongoing dental research.

She also teaches implant surgery, bone reconstruction, and cosmetic periodontal surgery to graduate periodontal students at the University of Toronto. And this says nothing of The Caudry Education Centre, the state-of-the-art facility where live surgeries can be viewed both on-site and off-site.

We Train Our Administrators

In addition to training and providing continuing education to students and professional peers alike, we also train our office administrators.

This isn’t to say that our office administrators come into their careers without extensive administrative experience, many qualifications, and formal training. As qualified as our team members might be, we want to make sure they’re capable of addressing every one of our patient’s needs without complication or confusion.

That’s why we have recently introduced a 2-week program for front-desk administrators. This comprehensive program covers the many skills necessary for being a first-rate administrator in the world of periodontics.

Does a program like this benefit our front-desk administrators? Most definitely. Who does it benefit the most, though? You—the patient.

The Perfect Patient Experience

Our patients are referred to us because Dr. Caudry is one of Toronto’s leading periodontists. When they visit Dr. Caudry’s practice, they’re cared for by an entire team of individuals, not just one person.