Implants and Bone Grafts
Dental implants are changing the way people live. With them patients are rediscovering the comfort and confidence to eat, speak, laugh, and enjoy life.
Dental implants can be the best solution to the problem of missing teeth. A dental implant, a titanium post, is an artificial tooth root and the foundation for a replacement tooth or bridge.
Dental implants integrate into the structure of your bone that will prevent the loss of bone and gum recessions that often accompanies
bridgework and dentures. Additionally, they can be cost saving because you are replacing only one tooth, not three as required by a bridge. The person who has lost teeth regains the ability to eat virtually anything and can smile with confidence knowing that teeth appear natural and facial contour will be preserved.
The simple extraction of a tooth leaves in its wake a hole that is surrounded by a shell of alveolar bone (tooth supporting bone). This bone’s only purpose in the human body is to support a tooth.
As a result, when the tooth is lost the body quickly begins to resorb the bone, unless it is immediately replaced with either another tooth, implant or “ridge preservation graft” (socket graft).
Occasionally, it is possible to place an implant at the time of a tooth extraction. In these cases, the implant will act almost like a tent pole to hold the surrounding bone up and give it the functional requirements necessary to prevent it from undergoing atrophy. Unfortunately, often times it is impossible to place an implant at the time of the extraction and also, if your tooth has been missing for some time, the adjacent support bone is likely to grow thinner and shrink. Different types of bone graft techniques could be use to preserve the socket or to reconstruct edentulous alveolar ridge for future implant rehabilitation.
Bone grafting is a safe and highly successful procedure that involves the “building up” or adding bone to the jaw by using your own natural
bone from another location and/or by using donor, processed or synthetic bone materials. Often the new bone can be obtained from inside the mouth.
The most common bone grafting required involves one or a combination of the following four simpler outpatient procedures:
The Alveolar Ridge Preservation Graft or “Socket Graft”
The Autogenous Ramus/Chin Graft or “Block Bone Graft”
The Guided Bone Regeneration or “GBR” procedure combining bone graft and membranes.
The Subantral Graft or “Sinus Lift Procedure”
When considering dental implants as an option, it is a likely possibility that your oral surgeon will discuss one or a combination of these grafts with you as a pre-requisite to optimize your treatment plan.
The Implant Procedure
The procedure to place an implant takes 30 to 60 minutes for one implant and only 2 to 3 hours for multiple implants. And our highly qualified surgeons will bring great precision and attention to your individual needs. There are many options that will be discussed with you at your consultation appointment to ensure that you receive the best treatment option. A 3D image is usually required for bone volume evaluation and implant planning.
Prior to surgery, you may receive antibiotics and for greater comfort, intravenous sedation or nitrous oxide (laughing gas). A local anesthetic will be administered to numb the area where the implants will be placed.
After you are comfortable, your surgeon will make a small incision in the gum tissue to reveal the bone, and create a space using special instruments. We will then insert the titanium implant in the new space. The top of the implant is often visible through the gum using special abutments. In others cases, if it is most beneficial to the patient’s early stages of healing, our surgeons will choose to cover the implant using gum tissue.
Healing phase for patients varies from person to person and also is dependent on the quality and quantity of the bone. Our specialist will advise you on follow-up care and timing.
Whether it’s one tooth or several of your teeth that are being replaced, your dentist will complete the restoration by fitting the replacement tooth (crown) to the dental implant.