Implants

Introduction

A dental implant is a "root" device, usually made of titanium, used in dentistry to support restorations that resemble a tooth or group of teeth to replace missing teeth.

Virtually all dental implants placed today are root-form endosseous implants, i.e., they appear similar to an actual tooth root (and thus possess a "root-form") and are placed within the bone (endo- being the Greek prefix for "in" and osseous referring to "bone").

As with most treatment procedures in dentistry today, dental implants not only involve scientific discovery, research and understanding, but also application in clinical practice. The practice of implant dentistry requires expertise in planning, surgery and tooth restoration; it is as much about art and experience as it is about science. This site will help provide you with the knowledge you need to make informed choices in consultation with your dental health professionals.




SINGLE TOOTH

If you have lost only one tooth then a dental implant might be the ideal replacement. Teeth can be lost because of decay, gum disease or as the result of an accident. To preserve the aesthetics of your mouth, as well as its full functionality, it is very important that the missing tooth is adequately replaced.

Dental implants act as substitutes for the lost root part of the tooth and serve as a socket in which a crown is placed. They commonly support a bridge of replacement teeth but are an extremely effective solution to replace one missing tooth.

A dental implant looks and functions like a natural tooth while having several advantages over other types of tooth replacement. Unlike a bridge, a dental implant does not require the neighboring teeth to be ground down in order for a crown to be placed and this crown on the implant is non-removable. In addition, because a dental implant replaces the root, the jawbone is better preserved.

An implant is also much easier to clean as compared to a bridge, and unlike a bridge, will not be affected by cavities.






MULTIPLE TOOTH

Multiple Dental Tooth Implants are done when replacing several gaps in teeth.

If there are missing gaps together, dental tooth implants with a bridge may be done. An implant bridge will consist of the crowns on dental tooth implants as well as pontic crowns. A pontic crown is a dental crown that is joined together to the anchor crowns on the dental tooth implants in forming a dental bridge.

If there are missing gaps in separate locations, then separate single dental tooth implants with dental crown or a combination of dental tooth implants with dental crown and dental bridges may be done in replacing missing gaps.

For a multiple dental implant, possible dental implant processes includes:

  • immediate implants
  • immediate loaded implants
  • conventional implants



FULL ARCH BRIDGE WORK

Full arch dental implant teeth are done when there are no existing teeth on the arch. For full arch dental implant teeth, there are several dental implant tooth treatment options for full arch reconstruction including:

Dental Implant Teeth + Dentures

For dental implant teeth with bar or ball and over dentures, the dental implant posts acts as anchor supports in retaining the over dentures in place relative to having conventional full dentures that tends to slip and slide when chewing and talking. Dental implant teeth with bar/ball and over dentures are implant teeth options whereby the over denture may be removed and cleaned.

Dental Implant Teeth + Dental Bridges

For dental implants teeth with dental bridges, the dental implant posts acts as new tooth roots with a fixed dental bridges over the teeth implants. With this dental implant teeth option, it is similar to having a new set of teeth on implant posts.

All-on-4 and All-on-6

All-on-4 and All-on-6 are immediate function implant tooth options similar to having fixed acrylic teeth on the implant posts. All-on-4 and all-on-6 dental implants are good implant tooth options for cases with bone loss and do.

Zygoma Implants

Zygoma dental implants are done only for the upper jaw and suited for cases with little or no bone support. Zygoma dental implant are very long titanium implants posts placed up into the zygoma area (or cheek bone area) where there is bone support in allowing a new set of teeth to be built on the dental implant posts.



TEETH IN AN HOUR

Teeth-in-an-hour, tooth implant is a concept that provides patients with an immediate functioning tooth or teeth on dental implants in one single session.

The Teeth-in-an-Hour is a dental implant surgery system that streamlines the tooth implant treatment process. The system incorporates the CT Scans and 3-D imaging software to accurately assess bone structure, map out the areas of best integrity, and create a permanent prosthesis prior to the tooth implant surgery. Thus the on the day of the actual dental implant surgery, the implant post is placed and the prosthetics loaded on immediately
Teeth in an hour Implants Procedure

Dental Implants Procedure 1

Diagnosis and planning to determining if teeth-in-an-hour concept is suited for the candidate

Dental Implants Procedure 2

First round of CT Scan is done. Data is then input into the computer for dental implant treatment planning.

Dental Implants Procedure 3

A second CT Scan is done with markers in obtaining data for the surgical template and final prosthetic planning. The data is then sent overseas for the template and final prosthetic to be fabricated.

Dental Implants Procedure 4

After delivery of surgical template and final prosthetics. The actual implant post placement is done using the surgical template.

Dental Implants Procedure 4

Immediately thereafter, the final prosthetics is also fitted after implant post placement.



SECURING LOOSE DENTURES

A denture is a removable replacement for missing teeth and adjacent tissues. It is made of acrylic resin, sometimes in combination with various metals. Complete dentures replace all the teeth, while a partial denture fills in the spaces created by missing teeth and prevents other teeth from changing position. Complete dentures are either "conventional" or "immediate."

A conventional denture is placed in the mouth about a month after all the teeth are removed to allow for proper healing, whereas an immediate denture is placed as soon as the teeth are removed. The drawback behind an immediate denture is that it may require more adjustments after the healing has taken place.

Same day Teeth & Dentures secured with dental implants




WHAT ARE IMPLANTS?

Dental implants are made of titanium or ceramics, inserted into the bone, and assume the function of dental roots. Depending on the initial condition of your teeth, one or more implants are necessary for artificial teeth.

If you do not have any natural teeth, then four implants in the lower jaw are sufficient for mounting fixed artificial teeth. Studies are currently being conducted to determine whether four implants are also sufficient in the upper jaw. Till date, six implants have always been inserted in the upper jaw




BENEFITS OF DENTAL IMPLANTS

The mouth is restored as closely as possible to its natural state. By replacing the entire tooth, including the root, it is possible to replicate the function of natural teeth, with a strong, stable foundation that allows comfortable biting and chewing. In addition, nothing in the mouth looks, or feels artificial.

Implants preserve the integrity of facial structures. By preventing the bone resorption that would normally occur with the loss of teeth, the facial structures remain intact. This is particularly important when all of the teeth are missing, as the lower one-third of the face collapses if implants are not placed to preserve the bone.

Your smile is improved when replacement teeth look more like natural teeth. Even when only one tooth is missing, long term esthetics are usually much better with an implant supported replacement tooth than with a traditional tooth supported bridge. This is particularly important in the front of your mouth, where preventing a visible bone defect is critical for natural appearance.

Restored self-esteem and renewed self-confidence. Many of the people who now enjoy the benefits of implant supported replacement teeth state that their self esteem and self confidence have been restored as a result of improved appearance, function, comfort, and health.

Adjacent teeth are not compromised to replace missing teeth. Tooth replacement with traditional tooth-supported bridges requires grinding down the teeth adjacent to the missing tooth/teeth, so that the bridge can be cemented onto them. This tooth structure can never be replaced and the long-term health of these teeth is compromised. Partial dentures have clasps that hook onto adjacent teeth, putting pressure on them as the partial rocks back and forth. Eventually these teeth can loosen and come out as a result of this pressure. Replacing missing teeth with implant supported crowns/bridges does not involve the adjacent natural teeth, so they are not compromised, or damaged.

Overall quality of life is enhanced with replacement teeth that look, feel and function like natural teeth. With implant supported replacement teeth, the appearance of the smile is more natural and the teeth function more like natural teeth. The result is increased comfort and confidence when smiling, speaking, and eating. If dentures and partials are replaced with implant supported teeth, the overall enhancement in quality of life is even more significant, with an ability to eat all types of foods, elimination of messy adhesives, and improved speech, comfort and appearance.

Convenient oral hygiene. It is much easier to care for an implant supported crown, which can be cleaned like a natural tooth. In comparison, a tooth supported bridge requires the use of a floss threader for proper cleaning. It is also more convenient to clean a full set of implant supported replacement teeth than a traditional denture.



IMMEDIATE TEMPORARIES

Depending on an individual's circumstances, it is possible to place a temporary tooth or teeth on the implant or implants, the same day the implants are placed. Chewing and using the temporaries is dependent on the number of implants supporting the temporary teeth. The more implants supporting the temporary teeth, the more function, a patient can have on the temporary.
Single implants should have no chewing function but the immediate temporary usually creates better esthetics (looks.) Full arch temporizes can have full function on them with some limitation in diet.



TOOTH SITE PRESERVATION

When a tooth is removed, the bone and gum tissue in the area immediately begin to shrink, and continue to do so for quite some time. The resulting defect can make it difficult to place an acceptable replacement tooth. "Site Preservation" involves special measures to minimize the loss of gum and bone. This may include very careful removal of the tooth to protect the surrounding tissues, placement of freeze dried bone or bone-like materials into the socket, and use of special permeable membranes to guide the healing response. Benefits of site preservation include:

  • The bone and gum retain a more natural shape and appearance
  • Eliminate or minimize an unsightly defect
  • Better looking and more functional replacement teeth
  • Retain more options for replacement of teeth with implants, bridges, or partials
  • No food packed into the socket


BONE GRAFTING

This is the process in which the dentist uses bone grafts to build up a thin or shrunken jawbone. If you are considering an implant but dental x-rays and/or CAT scan show that you have a thin jawbone as a result of bone loss then a graft will be necessary.
Your jaw may show advanced bone loss as a result of the ageing process, prolonged denture wear, missing teeth, periodontal gum disease or as a result of an accident.
Bone will be grafted from your own body although a synthetic alternative can be used.

There are four types of bone grafts:

  • Autogenous or Autografts
  • Allografts
  • Xenografts
  • Alloplastic


SINUS GRAFTING

Above your upper jaw are empty spaces called maxillary (upper jaw) sinuses. When teeth are removed or lost from this area, they often leave very little bone with which to anchor a new dental implant. In the past this posed a problem for certain patients who wished to have a dental implant placed in this area.

With sinus grafts, we can restore the bone in these areas to adequately support an implant and thereby allow you to benefit from the natural feel and look of dental implants.

Procedure:

The implant dentist surgically accesses the sinus area above the missing tooth. He then places grafting material in the location that will anchor the implant. After several months this material will become part of your jaw and an implant can then be inserted and stabilized using this new bone.