What is an Implant?
A dental implant is an excellent choice for replacing missing teeth. The most common kind of dental implant is a root form implant. It is a small titanium post that replaces the roots of a missing tooth and supports a custom-made crown.
The Benefits of an Implant
There are many benefits to having implants:
• Like natural teeth roots, it stimulates the jawbone when you chew food. This preserves the jawbone and keeps it healthy.
• An implant is strong, comfortable, and secure. After the restoration is placed, it has the look and feel of natural teeth.
• The crown is custom made to match your smile
• An implants stops the adjacent teeth from shifting, and maintains a stable bite.
• They support multiple types of restorations, including single crowns, multi-unit bridges and full arch dentures. Single crowns and bridges are not removable for cleaning or before sleeping. Others, such as many full-arch dentures, can be removed.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Implant placement involves multiple intervals, and treatment times can vary. Initially, we need to determine if an implant is recommended for our patient. We access health history, examine gum and jawbone health, and discuss treatment goals. To check the health of the patient’s jawbone, we take panoramic x-rays and may take computerized tomography(CT) scans. We take impressions and bite registrations to create an accurate model of your mouth. The patient is informed if any additional procedures, such as bone grafting or gum surgery are needed.
Each implant case is different, but placing an implant generally involves two phases, surgically placing the implant and restoring the implant with a crown.
Placing the Implant
To place the implant, patient’s mouth is numbed.An opening is made in the gums, and then a channel is prepared in the bone to receive the implant. Next, we place the body of the implant into the prepared channel. In a two-stage procedure, a cover is placed on the implant and the gums are stitched closed. In a single-stage procedure, an extension is attached to the implant at the time of surgery. During the next several months, the implant becomes fused securely to the bone. At this time, we may place a temporary replacement tooth.
In a two stage procedure, the second phase starts with surgical re-exposure of the implant. Another incision is made in patient’s gums, and a small extension is placed to bring the implant above the gum-line.
Impressions are taken over the extensions. The lab uses the impressions to make an accurate model of the patient’s mouth, including the implant. They use the model to create a crown that accurately fits the implant and the patient’s bite.
When the final crown is ready, we check the fit and the bite and then secure the crown to the implant.