Implant Placement (Surgical Placement)
Dental implants have completely changed the course of dentistry over the past fifteen years. Implant dentistry has become the gold standard for replacing missing teeth. With a high level of predictability and versatility, dental implants can be used to replace a single missing tooth, multiple teeth, or to stabilize loose dentures and partials.
Newer implant developments now allow for immediate placement of implants into extraction sites and healing times as short as 3-6 weeks. This translates into having the implant attached to the new crown or denture in a much shorter time frame.
A complete medical history will be taken by your dentist at your consultation visit as well as a recommended treatment plan to help determine if implants are right for you.
The treatment involved with dental implants can be broken down into two phases. The first is the surgical phase. Placement of dental implants has become routine procedure for dentists and dental surgeons. Our doctors Matt and Drew Agnini have completed year long hospital general practice residencies where they received extensive training and experience in both the surgical placement and
restoration of dental implants.
Both doctors are members of the International Team for Implantology and continue to stay on the cutting edge of dental implant techniques. Although usually considered a minor surgical procedure, some patients may request some form of sedation for the procedure. Your dentist will help you decide which form of sedation is optimal for your treatment at your consultation appointment. Visit our section on sedation dentistry for more information this topic.
A certain amount of residual bone is mandatory for placement of dental implants. The bone around teeth continues to shrink over time, but the rate of this shrinking process varies greatly between individuals. If your dentist discovers that you have a bone deficiency in the area where implants are planned, a procedure known as a bone graft is sometimes needed. A bone graft is a routine dental procedure that allows the patient to regenerate new bone growth in a specific area to allow for future placement of implants. The type of bone used for bone grafts varies and your dentist will decide which type of graft material is best for you. Healing times for bone grafts also vary, but the patient is usually ready for the implant to be placed anywhere from 3 to 5 months following a bone graft procedure.
Single or Multiple Teeth Replacement
Whether you are missing one tooth or several teeth, dental implants are the most natural-looking replacement option. Missing teeth have traditionally been replaced with bridgework that eventually leads to bone loss under the unsupported tooth. This bone loss can leave a space or dark gap along the gumline. With implants, there is no need to grind down healthy adjacent teeth to anchor the bridgework. The implant acts as a root to help prevent bone deterioration and keeps other teeth from shifting out of place.
Denture and Partial Support
Dental implants can have the largest impact on denture wearing patients. Loose and unstable fitting dentures can be very uncomfortable and can have a negative impact on a patients overall sense of well being. The bulk of acrylic that is necessary for retention of dentures is also a common problem for these patients to adjust to. Full upper dentures, for example, cover most of the palate making speech more challenging at first and diminishing taste. Lower dentures are usually more of a problem for stability, and many patients have told me that they feel as if they are going to pop out of the patients mouth at any time. Fixative glues can help with this, but are messy and difficult to clean up. The good news is that dental implants can eliminate all of these problems and more, giving back to the patient quality of life.
With the basic two implant scenario, snapping attachments will be set into the denture and will give the patient solid retention. The denture will only come out when the patient wants it out and eating and speech will be greatly enhanced. With the addition of a third or forth implant, the denture will become even more stable. For upper dentures, four implants will allow for a palate-less denture, giving full taste back to the patient. With four to six implants per dental arch, a hybrid denture can be made. This is a fixed denture that is screwed into the implants by the dentist and is cared for more like natural teeth than a denture. Full porcelain bridgework can also be done for some patients in a permanent fashion over implants, eliminating the need for acrylic.