The placement and restoration of dental implants can occur in a wide variety of ways depending on the needs of the patient and the treatment protocols of the dentist.
The most usual procedure is for dental implants to be placed using the same freezing that is given for routine fillings, crowns or extractions. In fact, in most instances, having an implant placed is easier and less traumatic to the tissues than an extraction. If an individual is anxious or if the treatment requirements are extensive, then the use of sedation or general anesthetic may be indicated.
The gums are moved back to expose just enough of the bone to allow the dentist to evaluate the bone and to complete the placement of the implant. In some situations, if the bone is wide or if a tooth has just been extracted and there is good bone, Dr. Price may decide to place the implant without exposing the bone. Small drills are used to make a hole in the bone the same size as the dental implant. The implant is then pushed or threaded into place. If the gums were moved to expose the bone, it will be repositioned with a few sutures.
Placing Teeth on the Implants
Making teeth for implants depends on the number of implants placed and the design of the teeth determined by the patient and the dentist. Usually a number of appointments are required to complete the fabrication of the new teeth. The first restorative appointment involves the making of an imprint of the tissues of the mouth and the position of the implants.
To create crowns that look like teeth, an abutment is screwed into the implant. The abutment is a piece of metal that emerges through the gum and resembles a tooth that has been prepared for a crown. A normal crown is attached to the implant with either cement or a screw. This crown is the same design as a crown that would be placed on a normal tooth.
If all teeth are missing the design is different. Often a metal bar is screwed into the implants and then teeth are attached to the bar by attachments. The patient can remove these teeth. In other designs, the teeth may be screwed directly to the implants and the patient cannot remove the teeth.
There are many uses for dental implants and different types of tooth replacement.
Implants are used to replace the roots of missing teeth. They are a fixed solution to a single missing tooth or an entire jaw of missing teeth. After an implant is placed in the jaw bone, it is allowed to heal for several months to become integrated within the bone. After healing, the implant is ready to restore. Impressions of the mouth are made upon which the restorations are fabricated. A post is attached to the implant using a screw. The diagram shows how the implant, post and screw attach together.
Once the post has been attached to the implant and secured into place, the implant supported restoration can be completed. A crown is made to attach to the post. The crown is made using metal and/or porcelain and is made to closely replicate the shape and color of the natural tooth. Once the crown has been adjusted, it is attached to the post using a screw, or it can be cemented onto the post. The diagram shows how the crown fits over the post. Implant therapy can take a few months and several appointments to complete, however, the final restorations can be almost like having your own tooth back!
If you have any further questions regarding dental implants or other procedures to improve your smile, please ask the dentist or any of our staff at Riverstone Dental.