For many dental implant procedures, we wait weeks or even months to put a dental crown, bridge, or denture on dental implants. This is to allow the dental implants time to heal and become fully integrated with the bone before it is expected to bear the weight of chewing, what is described as “loading” the implant.
But in some cases, such as when placing All-on-4 implant dentures, we will actually put restorations on the dental implants right away. Does this put the implants at risk? Not at all.
Science Supports the Use of Immediate Loading
Although many dentists advocate the wisdom of waiting before loading dental implants, the science doesn’t support that this is a universally better option. A 2013 review looked at data from 26 randomized clinical trials–the gold standard of medical research–including more than 1200 patients who’d received more than 2000 dental implants. These clinical trials used a variety of start times for loading, including immediate loading, waiting a few weeks before loading, and waiting several months before loading.
The study showed that there was no difference in failure rate based on the time when loading was done. Immediately loaded implants were just as successful as those placed months later to allow bone healing. If anything, the review said, there was some benefit to immediate loading because it prevented bone loss around the implants.
This makes sense. One of the benefits of dental implants is that they stimulate the bone so that the body won’t remove what used to support the teeth. However, they’re not providing as much stimulation if they’re not loaded, so there might still be bone loss around the implants.
But What’s Right for You?
The data from this review is helpful because it shows us that there’s no general problem with immediate loading. However, the study doesn’t tell us what’s right in any particular case, including yours. When we evaluate your oral health or the state of your implants after placement, we might decide that immediate loading isn’t good in your case, that in your case it might lead to implant failure.
We won’t know whether immediate loading is good for you until we’ve completed a thorough exam of your oral health and the bone that will support you implants. In some cases, we might not know until even later, such as immediately after the procedure. During your consultation, we will explain in detail all the factors that go into making this important decision.
To schedule your consultation with a Mohegan Lake implant dentist, please call (914) 526-2144 for an appointment at Advanced Dentistry of Mohegan Lake.