While dental implants are a viable option for most patients, case selection is very important in determining the long term success of the implants and the restorations. Dr. Johnson will conduct a comprehensive examination and determine whether the edentulous sites would be acceptable for implant placement. It is often necessary to take radiographs or 3-D scans to determine the density and the thickness of the implant site. In cases where bone density, thickness or height are inadequate, it is generally possible to augment bone levels by doing a procedure known as a bone graft. Bone grafts allow Dr. Johnson to thicken the bone and increase the level of bone at the implant site. After a period of healing, grafted sites generally serve as excellent implant sites.
The implant procedure:
After confirming the viability of the implant site, Dr. Johnson will prepare the site for the implant. This procedure, done under local anesthesia or with IV sedation, involves opening the gum drilling a small hole in the jawbone and placing the internal portion of the implant. In most cases, Dr. Johnson will suture the gum and allow the implant to integrate into the bone. Depending on the location of the implant, the integration process generally takes several months.
After the implant has fully integrated into the bone, Dr. Johnson will expose the implant, place a post into the implant body and fabricate a crown to fit that post. This crown is a permanent restoration which will either be screwed into the implant or cemented onto the post.
This procedure can be done for one tooth, multiple teeth or even a whole arch of teeth.
On occasion, Dr. Johnson may recommend an immediate load implant in which the teeth are placed on the implant either on the same day or within a very short period of time.
Either way, dental implants are the next best thing to having your missing teeth back. They are permanent restorations which do not need to be removed, they feel and function like natural teeth and they can restore the beautiful smile that you always wished for.