Treatment with implants begins with comprehensive diagnosis and treatment planning.
We are the restorative leaders of an implant team that includes world class dental surgeons, radiologists, and laboratory technicians. We have available world-leading technology including innovative surgical and scanning guides and computer-guided surgery based on cutting edge CAD-CAM/3D technology. With these techniques, placement, and restoration of implants with naturally beautiful and functioning teeth is a highly successful and predictable process.
When a tooth is lost, the bony process that houses the tooth begins to resorb due to a lack of stimulation. This causes a decrease in the width and height of the bone in the area the tooth is lost. Neighboring teeth and opposing teeth begin to move into the space. This can cause food lodgment, decay to neighboring teeth and gum disease. Loss of teeth can also cause the cheeks and lips to collapse giving an aged look.
The consequences of tooth loss can be prevented by replacing lost tooth in a timely manner. Although there are several options to replace a missing tooth, often dental implants are the best option. Implants are small titanium screws that are surgically placed in the bone. Once integrated into bone, they act like the root of a tooth. Small posts (abutments) are attached to the implant and protrude into the mouth. A crown is then fabricated and either screwed or cemented to the post to restore the missing tooth space. A restored implant functions and looks like a natural tooth. Implants maintain the bone where the missing tooth used to be. Since implants are titanium posts there is no chance for decay on implants. Implants can service you for many years with regular professional cleaning and proper home care.
Another option for replacing a missing tooth is a fixed bridge. For a bridge to be placed it is necessary to cut down the healthy tooth structure of the adjacent teeth. There is also the additional cost of possibly having to replace the bridge once, twice or more over the course of a lifetime due to decay or gum problems affecting the anchor teeth (teeth next to the missing tooth). For these reasons, implants are often a more ideal treatment option for replacing missing teeth.
A removable partial denture or a complete denture can also be used to replace missing teeth, usually used when there are a greater number of teeth missing. The chewing efficiency with a denture is reduced to more than half of that of natural teeth.
The teeth that support the partial denture are weakened due to the excessive loads acting on them and eventually can be lost. The denture rests on the gum tissue which can cause tissue abrasion and bone loss.
Studies show that within five to seven years there is a failure rate of up to 30% in teeth located next to a fixed bridge or removable partial denture.
Who is a candidate for implants?
Anyone who is missing one or more teeth is a candidate for implants. With the exception of growing children, dental implants are often the solution of choice, even for patients with the following health concerns.
Existing medical conditions
If you can have routine dental treatment, you can generally have an implant placed. While precautions are advisable for certain conditions, patients with such chronic diseases as high blood pressure and diabetes are usually successful candidates for dental implant treatment.
Gun disease or problem teeth
Almost all implants placed in patients who have lost their teeth to periodontal disease or decay has been successful.
Currently wearing partials or dentures
Implants can replace removable partial dentures or complete dentures. They can also be used to stabilize and secure dentures, making it much more comfortable and functional.
Although smoking lowers the success rate of implants, it doesn't eliminate implants as a treatment option.
Bone loss is not uncommon for people who have lost teeth or had periodontal disease. Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are trained and experienced in grafting bone to safely and permanently secure the implant.
Implants in children
Implant tooth replacement in children is usually deferred until their jaw growth is complete. There are, however, some instances when a dental implant may be appropriate, such as when it is part of the child's orthodontic treatment plan. Your family dentist or orthodontist can guide you in this instance
Dental implant placement usually takes one to two surgical appointments:
During the first surgical appointment the implant site is prepared to receive the implant following strict aseptic procedures and the implant is placed into the prepared site. If the placement will be done in one appointment, a cover screw is placed over the implant that protrudes through the gum tissue. If the placement will be done in two appointments, the gum tissue is sutured over the implant. Your surgeon will determine whether one or two surgical appointments are necessary. The implant takes 4-6 months to fuse with the bone.
If two surgical appointments are needed, during the second appointment, the implant is uncovered and the appropriate post is attached to which the replacement tooth is anchored. An impression of the post is taken and sent to the lab for the fabrication of the implant crown. During this time a temporary crown is placed. Once the final crown is back it is cemented with permanent cement.
If you’re considering dental implants as part of your treatment plan, learn more about implants and the restorative work we can offer.
Dr. Milin publishes shares his perfected technique for placing restorative implants with other dental professionals.