Dental Implants Explained:
If you lose one or more teeth due to periodontal disease, or another cause, there is hope. Dental implants are changing the way people live! They are designed to provide a foundation for replacement teeth that look, feel, and function like natural teeth. The person who has lost teeth regains the ability to eat virtually anything and can smile with confidence, knowing that teeth appear natural and that facial contours will be preserved. Patients with dental implants can smile with confidence.
The Dental Implant Surgical Procedure
There are essentially three protocols for implant placement.
Protocol 1: a two-stage approach
The implant is placed within your jawbone and the gum tissue is closed on top of the implant. The dental implant is now “buried” and can now heal in a closed, protected environment. The healing phase ranges between two to six months. It is the period of “osseointegration”. At the end of the healing phase, the implant needs to be “uncovered”: after locally numbing the gum, a small incision is made on top of the implant and a “healing abutment” is connected to the implant. The gum tissue will now heal around the “healing abutment”. A minimum of three weeks later, an impression of the implant is made and a crown is made.
Protocol 2: a one-stage approach
In this case, the implant is placed and a “healing abutment” is directly placed on top of the implant. The implant is already “uncovered”. A healing time of two to four months is needed before the implant can be restored.
Protocol 3: an immediate temporization
In selected cases, we can place the implant and connect during the same appointment a temporary crown on top of the implant. Likewise, for a patient missing all of his/her teeth, we can in certain cases place multiple implants (a minimum of four) and the same day deliver an implant fixed temporary bridge. A well-documented cost-effective protocol that gives an edentulous patient a full set of fixed implant-supported teeth is the “Bar Attachment Denture” concept, where the patient has his/her “Teeth-In-A-Day“.
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What Types of Prosthesis are Available?
Dental implants can be used to anchor fixed or removable teeth (prosthesis)
Fixed prosthesis (the prosthesis can only be removed by a dentist)
- A single crown is used to replace one missing tooth
- Multiple single crowns on multiple adjacent implants (number of crowns = number of implants)
- A fixed bridge, where multiple crowns are connected to implants (number of crowns is greater than the number of implants).
A removable prosthesis (the prosthesis clips on the implants and can be removed by the patient for daily cleaning)
- Overdenture on individual dental implants
- Overdenture on implants connected with a bar
The number and positioning of dental implants vary depending upon which type of prosthesis (removable or fixed) is recommended.
Implant dentistry is a prosthetic treatment that includes a surgical component. It is the design of the prosthesis that dictates the placement of the implant(s), not the other way around. Dr. Gallez and Dr. Nguyen will discuss with you and your restorative dentist the different prosthetic designs available that will fit your situation as each of them has some pros and cons.
Dr. Gallez, Dr. Nguyen and Dr. Browning perform in-office dental implant surgery in a hospital-style operating suite, thus optimizing the level of sterility. Inpatient hospital implant surgery is for patients who have special medical or anesthetic needs or for those who need extensive bone grafting from the jaw, hip, or tibia
Drs. Gallez, Nguyen and Browning have received extensive training in Dental Implantology. Through continuing education, Drs. Gallez, Nguyen and Browning are abreast of the most current information on implant dentistry, such as TEETH-IN-AN-HOUR™ and 3-D implant treatment planning.