Implant Dentistry

  

Dental implants are artificial tooth replacements that were first developed half a century ago by a Swedish scientist named Per-Ingvar Branemark. Implants arose from the patient’s need to secure loose-fitting dentures. Since the advent of the implant, engineering and enhancements to the implant have enabled dentists to expand the implant’s usefulness, including the replacement of missing or lost teeth. Today, implant techniques provide a wide range of tooth replacement solutions including:

  • Single Tooth Replacement
  • Anterior Replacement
  • Posterior Replacement
  • Full Upper Replacement

Types of Implants

There are three main types of implants:

  • The root implant
  • The plate form implant
  • The subperiosteal implant

The root implant—by far, the most popular—is the most effective because it mirrors the size and shape of a patient’s natural tooth. This implant is often as strong as the patient’s original tooth. The implant or artificial root is placed into the jawbone under local anesthesia, then allowed to heal and integrate with the bone. Once the healing process is completed and the jawbone is attached to the implant, the patient returns to the dental office where the implant is fitted with the new tooth. This process generally takes anywhere from three to eight months.

The plate form implant is ideal in situations where the jawbone is not wide enough to properly support a root implant. The plate form implant is long and thin, unlike the root implant, and anchors into thin jawbones. It is inserted the same way as a root implant. In certain cases, the plate form implant is immediately fitted with the restoration without waiting for the healing process to run its course.

The subperiosteal implant is used when the jawbone has receded to the point where it can no longer support a permanent implant.

Post Implant Care

Although proper oral hygiene is always recommended for maintaining good dental health, it is especially important when a patient has received a dental implant. Bacteria can attack sensitive areas in the mouth when teeth and gums are not properly cleaned, thus causing gums to swell and jaw bones to gradually recede. Recession of the jawbone will weaken implants and eventually make it necessary for the implant to be removed. Patients are advised to visit their dentists at least twice a year to ensure the health of their teeth and implants. Dental implants can last for decades when given proper care.

Implant Overdenture

When a fixed prosthesis is not possible for your jaw, a removable overdenture can be fabricated to fit securely over your implants. The overdenture is secured by abutments placed on your implants. This enables you to easily remove your overdenture when necessary.

An Overdenture or Implant Supported Bridge offers numerous benefits including:

  • Increases stability and restores the ability to chew naturally, which in turn enhances mastication and digestion.
  • Restores support back to the lip, minimizing the appearance of wrinkles around the mouth.
  • Preserves the integrity of the structures of the face by conserving the remaining bone.
  • Eliminates the pain associated with poorly fitting dentures, as well as the need for adhesives.
  • Provides an option to keep the palate uncovered, which decreases the loss of temperature sensitivity.

Single Tooth Implant

A single tooth implant is beneficial as it can replace just a single tooth without sacrificing the health of the surrounding teeth. Single tooth implants are done in two phases:

  • Phase 1

    Once your mouth is numb, your dentist will surgically implant the tooth into your gums and then close the incision with a stitch. The implant will securely attach itself to the jaw bone in the weeks following the procedure.
  • Phase 2

    Following the few weeks of recovery, which has allowed the implant ample time to attach to the jaw bone, you will come in for a second visit where we will place a crown over the implant. A small incision will be made in your gums to expose the implant. Using impressions made of your mouth, we will be able to custom fabricate a crown for your implant. This will allow for accurate alignment and a proper bite.

To ensure the success of your new restoration, proper oral hygiene care and regular check-ups are necessary.

Immediate Implant Placement

In most cases, the advancements in today’s technology has enabled us to place an implant and temporary crown in a single office visit, unlike in the past when it took several months to complete the implant process.

  • Phase 1

    After the original tooth is extracted and the site to receive the implant is reshaped, an extension for the implant will be anchored in the jaw. Then, using cement a temporary crown will be placed on top of the implant. We will make any necessary adjustments until a proper bite is achieved. A soft diet and avoiding chewing on the temporary crown for several months following the procedure is recommended.
  • Phase 2

    Following the recovery period, your temporary crown will be removed and impressions will be made of your mouth so we can fabricate your custom crown. This process varies from person to person, but it enables us to ensure proper bite and alignment. Using these models, we will create your customized crown and place it on top of the implant.

To ensure the success of your new implant, proper oral hygiene care and regular check-ups are necessary.