If you are missing one or more teeth and wish to eat your favorite foods, increase your chewing ability, and improve your appearance, speech, and self-esteem, then you are a candidate for dental implants. Initially, the implant is placed into the jawbone either immediately after the loss of a tooth, or after an extended period of time. If there is insufficient bone, various bone enhancing procedures can be performed prior to the implant placement. An abutment, which acts as a base for a prosthetic tooth replacement such as a crown, is inserted into the implant at the time of implant placement, or subsequently after a period of healing.
In the past, dentists would try to keep or replace teeth with treatments such as root canals, bridges, and fixed or removable dentures. Unfortunately, a significant number of root canal treated teeth fail, bridges require that healthy adjacent teeth be cut down and removable dentures can often be unstable and require the use of sticky adhesives. Dental implants are a solution to these problems, and many of the concerns associated with natural teeth are eliminated, including dental decay.
The placement of a dental implant is typically completed in less than an hour, as an office procedure with only local anesthesia. Post-operative discomfort is normally less than that of a tooth extraction. For aesthetic reasons, it is often possible to have a fixed transitional restoration immediately after implant placement so that you are never without a tooth. After a period of three to six months of healing, the temporary healing abutment is removed from the implant and a final abutment is inserted into the implant. A crown or removable denture is secured to this abutment as the final restoration.
An implant and an all-ceramic crown restored the site of a congenitally missing lateral incisor.
A missing lateral incisor was replaced with an implant.
After the failure of a root canal treated tooth that was part of a bridge for twenty years, two implants were placed and restored.
After the failure of the root canal treated front tooth, the bridge was cut and replaced with three implants.
After the failure of several bridges with multiple root canal treated teeth, the patient's upper teeth were replaced with thirteen implants.
Subsequent to the removal of many decayed and failed root canal treated teeth, the patient's missing teeth were replaced with twenty-seven implants.
Due to severe bone loss, it was not possible to place implants in the anterior maxilla without extensive bone grafting. However, two sinus grafts and six posterior implants provided for an implant-supported denture which re-established the patient's facial appearance.
To eliminate the frustration of a loose denture and sticky adhesives, four implants were placed which provided for the retention of a denture without coverage of the palate.
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