Your dentist tells you that you need a dental implant. You are confused as to what this is. What are the basics? You need to be an informed dental consumer. You need to know the procedure every step of the way before you begin.
First of all, a dental implant is a titanium screw that replaces a tooth root, nothing more, nothing less. What is done with this is up to you and your dentist. With proper treatment planning and placement you can have the best single implant or multiple implants in Arizona!
How do you get this dental implant to replace your tooth root? The first step in this is proper imagining. You need a “road map” if you will. In implant dentistry, this is a cone beam computerized tomograph (shew, that is a long word!). For short, this may be called a CBCT, or CT. Once you have your road map, your surgeon can plan the placement of your implant. This CBCT allows the optimal sized implant to be placed and is a step that cannot be overlooked or bypassed. It is an absolute necessity.
In some instances, a laboratory fabricated guide will be necessary depending on how much bone you have available. Also depending on available bone, you may need a bone graft. These are both things that will be elucidated in your CBCT.
Next, with the CBCT information and a comprehensive medical and dental history, a treatment plan with timing can be developed. A patient’s health can adversely affect the treatment sequencing of dental implants and their subsequent restoration.
Now, you are ready for implant placement. On the day of placement, many single dental implants maybe placed just like fillings under local anesthesia. If you are having multiple implants placed, you may want to consider some light sedation. You may want to consider the sedation just because the procedure will take longer and you will be there for a longer period of time.
After your implant or implants have healed for an adequate period of time, they are ready to be restored. A single tooth will receive a single crown and look just like original equipment. Multiple implants have a myriad of options.
Like was said earlier, implants replace tooth roots, but they can function to do many intra-oral tasks. If you have many in a row, you can restore them as individual teeth, just like single units. If they are spaced apart, you can restore them like a traditional bridge. If they are spread apart across a jaw that has no teeth, they can be used to hold in a denture or a partial. What?!? Crazy! Right?
Yes, there are special attachments that have been developed just for dental implants to hold in dentures and partial dentures. Better yet, if you don’t want to take your denture in and out every day, you can screw that denture down to your implants or have a single bridge or a series of bridges that span a jaw that was once completely without teeth.
Dental implants have given Phoenix, and the world for that matter, endless tooth replacement options. If you have a missing tooth or teeth, or you are just unhappy with your smile, come see us at GDS. We have and answer to your missing tooth problems.