Dental implants are the best available solution for the problem of missing teeth. Made out of Titanium and shaped to replace the root of the missing tooth, they offer several advantages over conventional crown and bridgework. They conserve the integrity of the adjacent teeth, offer a longer lifespan, prevent further bone loss and provide excellent aesthetics.
Replacing a missing tooth with a dental implant requires several steps involving your periodontist, as well as your general dentist.
The process begins with a thorough comprehensive examination of the condition and quantity of available gum and bone, along with special radiographs to locate the position of vital structures (nerves, sinus cavity etc).
Treatment with dental implants usually starts with the surgical placement. Access to the bone is necessary to insert the implant before the gums are replaced and secured in their original position.
A healing period of 3 to 5 months will follow depending on where the implant is placed, after which the restoring dentist will complete the treatment by connecting the final crown to the implant.
The upper back teeth are usually situated immediately beneath the sinus. The bone height between the floor of the sinus and the root of the molar is often thin or absent. If bone gets lost in that area due to tooth loss or periodontal disease, sinus augmentation will be indicated to regenerate enough bone in height and width for the placement of dental implants.
Surgical exposure of the deficient area is necessary to raise the sinus floor. The gums are lifted away from the ridge and the sinus cavity is accessed from the side through a trapdoor-like preparation. The space in the sinus where the implant will be placed is then filled with bone graft material and the gums are repositioned and secured with sutures.
The surgical area is allowed to heal for 6 to 12 months after which the implant is placed. In some cases, implants can be placed simultaneously with the sinus augmentation procedure.
Site Development/Ridge Augmentation
Height and width of the available bone are key to the success of dental implants. Tooth loss can often leave deformities and/or concavities in the upper or lower jawbone that complicate placement of implants.
In such cases bone augmentation is indicated to develop an adequate implant site. The volume needed will be provided by grafting bone or bone substitute in the deficient area. Surgical exposure of the area is necessary, the gum is lifted away from the ridge, the defect is then filled with bone after which the gum is repositioned and secured with sutures.
Your own bone may be used to fill in the defect. In this case, bone will be taken from either the ramus, which is the part of the lower jaw that rises behind the last molar, or the chin.
Healing will take from 4 to 12 months and the area will be ready for implant placement. In some cases, implants can be placed simultaneously with the augmentation procedure.
Block Cortical Graft