Dental implants are quickly becoming the most popular option when it comes to tooth replacement. Dental implants are titanium screws that are inserted within the bones of the jaws in order to replace the natural root of a once present tooth. The titanium used is biocompatible and has the property to fuse to its adjacent bone. Implant surgery is most commonly performed under local anesthesia.
At the time of the initial consultation, your medical and dental history will be reviewed in great detail. A detailed clinical and radiographic exam will be performed, namely with a panoramic radiograph to assess whether or not you are a candidate for implant surgery. On several occasions, three-dimensional scan (3D) may be indicated in order to further assess quality and quantity of bone. Furthermore, this scan allows the surgeon to further evaluate the position of adjacent anatomical structures such as the inferior alveolar nerve and the maxillary sinus. It is a crucial tool to improve treatment planning for implant placement. Based on our evaluation, a detailed treatment plan will be provided which will be in collaboration with the treating dentist and/or prosthodontist. The various surgical steps will be reviewed in great detail as well as an estimate of the fees involved.
Treatment is composed of two separate stages:
- Surgical phase: implant placement with possible bone or tissue grafting as deemed necessary.
- Prosthodontic phase: fabrication of one or several teeth which will be appropriately planned with your dentist.
Once the implant has been placed, a healing period of 3 to 6 months is planned in order to allow integration of the implant to its surrounding bone. At this stage, a healing abutment (metallic cylinder) is commonly placed on the implant. At this stage, your dentist may begin the prosthetic phase (tooth fabrication).
There are times where an implant can be placed at the time of tooth extraction (“immediate implant”). Additionally, an immediate crown may be fabricated at the time of the implant placement (“immediate loading”).
Replacement of one or multiple teeth using dental implants
This is the most conservative solution for replacing one or several teeth. The adjacent teeth will not need to be modified seeing to it that the anchorage point emanates from the jaw bone itself. The implant replaces the natural root of a tooth allowing maintenance of the bony architecture. This solution resembles the most the look of a natural tooth.
The second step (prosthetic) consists of the fabrication of a tooth by the restoring dentist.
Replacement of all dentition using dental implants
Once all teeth are lost, a conventional complete denture (plate) is commonly fabricated in order to restore facial esthetics and function. Over time, the bone level tends to decrease leading to a reduction in stability of the prosthesis and consequentially changes in facial esthetics. Dental implants will allow a viable solution to this issue, allowing for an increase in stability in the prosthesis, improving masticatory function and will regain facial esthetics.
The patient is able to remove and insert the prosthesis by himself. Implants will help increase the stability and retention of the denture.
An excellent hygiene is extremely important to respect and periodic follow up with your treating dentist will be necessary. Only your dentist will be able to remove this prosthesis.