Dental implants have become the standard of care for replacing lost teeth.
The Surgical Procedure
For most patients, the placement of a dental implant involves one surgical procedure. Usually, the decayed or broken tooth is extracted with an implant placed into the tooth socket on an immediate basis. The healing process is normally takes about three months. At this point the implant is torque tested to ensure complete osseointegration. The implant is then scanned intraorally and a 3D image is compiled with state of the art technology. The scan is then sent to a dental lab for milling of the restorative abutment and model.
Who actually performs the implant placement?
Implants are a team effort between an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon and a Restorative Dentist. While Dr. Traub performs the actual implant surgery, including tooth extractions and bone grafting if necessary, the Restorative Dentist (your general dentist) places the permanent prosthesis (crown). Your dentist will also make any temporary prosthesis needed during the implant healing process.
What types of protheses are available?
A single prosthesis (crown) is used to replace one missing tooth – each prosthetic tooth attaches to its own implant. A partial prosthesis (fixed bridge) can replace two or more teeth and may require only two or three implants. A complete dental prosthesis (fixed bridge) replaces all the teeth in your upper or lower jaw. The number of implants varies depending upon which type of complete prosthesis (removable or fixed) is recommended. A removable prosthesis (overdenture) attaches to a bar or ball in socket attachments, whereas a fixed prosthesis is permanent and removable only by the dentist.
Why would you select dental implants over more traditional types of restorations?
There are several reasons:
1. Why sacrifice the structure of surrounding good teeth to bridge a space?
2. Removing a denture or a “partial” at night may be inconvenient, not to mention that dentures that slip around can be uncomfortable and rather embarrassing.
3. Root canals fail. 90% of implants are still structurally sound 10 years after placement.
Are you a candidate for implants?
If you are considering implants, your mouth must be examined thoroughly and your medical and dental history reviewed. If your mouth is not ideal for implants, ways of improving outcome, such as bone grafting, may be recommended.
What type of anesthesia is used?
The majority of dental implants and bone graft placement can be performed in the office under local anesthesia. If desired general anesthesia or intravenous (IV) sedation can be administered.
Do Implants need special care?
Once the implants are in place they will serve you well for many years if you take care of them and keep your mouth healthy. This means taking the time for good oral hygiene (brushing and flossing) and keeping regular appointments with your dental specialists.