A dental implant is a "root" device, usually made of titanium, used in dentistry to support restorations that resemble a tooth or group of teeth to replace missing teeth.
Virtually all dental implants placed today are root-form endosseous implants, i.e., they appear similar to an actual tooth root (and thus possess a "root-form") and are placed within the bone (endo- being the Greek prefix for "in" and osseous referring to "bone"). The bone of the jaw accepts and osseointegrates with the titanium post. Osseointegration refers to the fusion of the implant surface with the surrounding bone. Dental implants will fuse with bone; however, they lack the periodontal ligament, so they will feel slightly different from natural teeth during chewing.
Are you a candidate for dental implants?
The ideal candidate for a dental implant is in good general and oral health. Adequate bone in your jaw is needed to support the implant, and the best candidates have healthy gum tissues that are free of periodontal disease.
A series of studies are conducted to determine if implant placement is feasible, they include a Cone Beam Computerized Tomography and 3D model analysis as well as diagnostic wax-up. Based on the results of these studies, it is determined if it is possible to place the implant and if any additional procedures are required for placement, i.e. bone grafts, sinus lifting, etc.
Using state of the art cutting edge CBCT technology not only makes the implant placement safer but also more accurate. An implant Stomatotech guide is manufactured based on virtual planning to ensure that the implants are placed in their ideal positions, making their placement ideal for subsequent rehabilitation.
Do I require any additional procedures prior to placing the implants?
At times, teeth removal can be traumatic to the underlying bone, causing bone loss or resorption. This in turn makes it more difficult to place the implant in an ideal position, requiring the surgeon to execute different procedures to "enhance" the bone to make it more favorable for implant placement.
- Sinus Lift Augmentation: A key to implant success is the quantity and quality of the bone where the implant is to be placed. The upper posterior jaw has traditionally been one of the most difficult areas to successfully place dental implants due to insufficient bone quantity and quality and the close proximity to the maxillary sinus. Sinus lift augmentation can help correct this problem by raising the sinus floor and developing bone for the placement of dental implants.
- Ridge Modification: Deformities in the upper or lower jaw can leave you with inadequate bone in which to place dental implants. To correct the problem, the gum is lifted away from the ridge to expose the bony defect. The defect is then filled with bone or bone substitute to build up the ridge. Ridge modification has been shown to greatly improve appearance and increase your chances for successful implants that can last for years to come.
If, on the other hand, you have lost all your teeth and have been like this for a while, the body naturally reduces the width and height of the jaw bones, causing them to become more difficult to rehabilitate. But do not despair! Depending on your particular case, there are different strategies to be able to place fixed or partially removable teeth to ensure the best quality of life.
- Zygomatic implants: These are extra - maxillary implants placed on the cheek bone to ensure maximum stability when the upper jaw has undergone extensive resorption. They are an excellent option for rehabilitation due to cost effectiveness and long term durability
Example of zygomatic supported hybrid denture
- Autogenous bone grafts: bone is grafted, or taken, from a donor site, usually the hip bone, and placed back in the area that needs more volume.
Alveolar ridge augmentation by means of particulate bone and bone blocks from autologous (the patient`s own) bone.
Proper healing time is required to undergo implant placement in some cases
Several edentulous patients (patients that have lost all their teeth, can benefit from full mouth restorations. Popular concepts like "All-on-4" and "All-On-6" are heard amongst dentists and patients seeking rehabilitation. At DDC, we are experienced in offering hybrid (dental and gum restorations" prosthesis under these premises, guaranteeing upmost care standards for all types of edentulous patients. These may involve the use of zygomatic implants in select cases.
What is a dental implant procedure like?
This procedure is a team effort between you, your dentist, your maxillofacial surgeon and dental lab. Your maxillofacial surgeon and dentist will consult with you to determine where and how your implant should be placed. At DDC, we use American made, FDA approved implants such as ZIMMER dental® and Implant Direct®, ensuring the best quality materials for your needs. Depending on your specific condition and the type of implant chosen, your dental team will create a treatment plan tailored to meet your needs.
- Replacing a Single Tooth: If you are missing a single tooth, one implant and a crown can replace it.
- Replacing Several Teeth: If you are missing several teeth, implant-supported bridges can replace them.
- Replacing All of Your Teeth: If you are missing all of your teeth, an implant-supported full bridge or full denture can replace them.
A dental technician will then process the crown, bridge or hybrid prosthesis at a dental lab. Our clinic uses the state of the art facilities at Smith - Sterling Dental Laboratories®, which serves American practices since 1992 with the latest technology to ensure top notch work under American Quality Standards. Whether its eMax® or BruxZyr®, Smith - Sterling will provide the best materials available in the market, the very best you would be getting at an American practice.
What can i expect after receiving a dental implant?
As you know, your own teeth require conscientious at-home oral care and regular dental visits. Dental implants are like your own teeth and will require the same care. In order to keep your implant clean and plaque-free, brushing and flossing still apply!
After treatment, your periodontist will work closely with you and your dentist to develop the best care plan for you. Periodic follow-up visits will be scheduled to monitor your implant, teeth and gums to make sure they are healthy.