The placement of a dental implant is a minimally invasive procedure, meaning that a small cut is made, but it’s a low risk procedure. Having implants placed is approved for most of our patients, even those who are advanced in age or medically fragile. During your consultation we will ask a series of health related questions to ensure that you are in a position to heal at an average rate, which would be the most important aspect to their surgical placement. At Jillian Prather Family Dentistry, we can help you restore missing teeth, whether it is one, some or even all of them. Restoring teeth can improve your ability to chew foods, improve your speech, and improve your self esteem.
Am I a Candidate for Dental Implants?One of the most important aspects to dental implants is the ability to heal at an average rate, there are situations that can cause a patient to not heal timely. Conditions including uncontrolled diabetes, certain medications, patients receiving cancer treatment and patients who smoke tobacco or marijuana, may be unable to heal at the necessary rate. This can make candidacy difficult, but not impossible. We are happy to work with the patient and review what they need to do to increase their ability to heal, we can even speak with your personal physician to see what adjustments can be made. Once we have determined that the patient can heal correctly, we can move forward with creating a treatment plan.
Developing a Treatment PlanDuring your consultation, we will discuss your needs and review the area both visually and through digital x-rays. Different patients will have different needs and dental implants come with a lot of options. Some patients may be needing an unhealthy tooth extracted and then the implant placed. In many situations, the tooth is already missing and a bone graft is needed to increase the mass for placement. Bone graft procedures are fast and simple, but require months of healing time for the new bone to grow. Some patients may be struggling with chronic periodontitis, or severe gum disease, and need tissue to be rebuilt. Additionally, we will want to gain control of the infection because we don’t want the implant to become infected. Developing a treatment plan includes all of the preparatory steps before the implant can be placed.
Creating the plan includes making decisions. Patients have the option to have a metal titanium implant or a metal free ceramic implant placed. This will depend on your metal sensitivity or some patients prefer the white coloring of ceramic for front teeth replacement for fear of the metal showing through the gums. Additionally, the patient will need to discuss how many implants are being placed with what type of prosthetic. We can place a single crown, multiple crowns, a dental bridge, a partial denture or a full denture. Full dentures can be retained with four to six implants using a snap on and off system, a bar retention system, or using the All-on-4® Treatment Concept for permanent retention.
Implant ProcedureWith the treatment map in place, and all of the steps in motion, we can then perform the surgery to place your dental implant. Before surgery, we will discuss anesthetic or conscious sedation options. The right pain relief for your needs and the amount of work being done will be recommended. Many patients receiving a single implant find just a local numbing anesthetic to be appropriate.
The surgical procedure will take about one hour, which can vary depending on how many implants are being placed. We open the tissue to reveal the bone. Using a specialized dental drill, we create space in the jawbone, which was previously precisely mapped out with digital x-rays, we place the implant, and then the area is closed with sutures. Patients having their full denture permanently set in place using the All on 4 system are now done, though they will need to take it easy for several months. Patients having any other implant procedure performed are sent home for a period of healing, this can take several months. Once the implant is firmly set in the bone, and the bone has grown over the threads of the implant, we can then set your prosthetic in place.