Missing Teeth and Dental Implants
Dental implants are changing the way patients’ function daily and improve their oral health. A Dental Implant is a metal screw that provides support for a crown, or chewing portion of the tooth. They are the closest replacement functionally and esthetically to a patient’s natural tooth that can be provided after a tooth has been lost. When a tooth has been missing the implant can be placed where the root of the previous tooth used to be provided there is enough bone to support the implant. In some cases the tooth can be removed and the implant placed at the same time. The tooth and implant are connected by a piece called an abutment. Either your periodontist or your general dentist can place the abutment. Dental implants are a permanent replacement option for missing teeth and are very predictable restorations.
What is a dental implant?
A dental implant can be used to replace a single tooth without affecting the adjacent teeth. This is beneficial because damage that would normally occur to the adjacent teeth by preparing for a bridge is avoided. A dental implant allows easier maintenance when compared to a traditional bridge. The dental implant will also preserve the bone that was previously supporting the natural tooth. When considering the long term financial differences between an implant or a bridge overtime an implant becomes the more cost effective restoration due to its longer lifespan and higher success rate.
Multiple dental implants can be placed to replace several teeth by implant supported bridges.
Dentures and Implants
As few as two implants may be placed to stabilize your existing lower denture to improve the function and stability of a lower denture. In some cases a new denture may need to be made. Multiple implants (4 or more) may be placed to support a denture that would remain in the mouth. This would most closely resemble a patients natural teeth in function and aesthetics if all natural teeth had been previously lost.
Hard Tissue Augmentation
In certain cases if there has been loss of the supporting bone of the jaw due to previous infection, damage during tooth removal or long term absence of the tooth, an augmentation procedure may be necessary. The necessary grafting procedure is done to rebuild the bone that will eventually anchor and support the future dental implant. Often times the bone for the grafting procedure can come from a bone bank rather than you. Once the graft has healed, which can take a few months in most cases; your dental implant can be placed.
CT Guided Procedures
With the use of Implant and Periodontal Professionals’ Cone Beam CT scanner Dr. Schmalz can plan your implant surgery in a three dimensional environment, which allows her to evaluate the area to ensure the implant is placed perfectly. A guide can then be made from this software and in some cases your implant can be placed without the need for any stitches.