Immediate Restoration Implants
Sometimes we are able to place implants and provide temporary prosthetic teeth at the same time. This is not a simple or necessarily common occurrence but it does happen occasionally. Make sure to inquire with us if this is something that interests you and we will see if you are a good candidate for this procedure.
What Happens If I Don’t Have Enough Bone?
Implant Site Preparation
During the evaluation, we will determine whether or not you have enough bone mass in your jaw to support dental implants. If you do not there are plenty of ways that we can bolster your bone mass before beginning the implant procedure in order to give you enough bone to support your implants. In the event that we need to add bone mass to your mouth we refer to the process of doing so as implant site preparation. Here are some of the different kinds of implant site preparation procedures.
Extraction Site Preparation
One of the more common forms of implant site prep, extraction site preparation happens while we are extracting teeth that are (typically) in the way of the prosthesis that we will eventually place. Site recovery can require up to six months to heal and allow for the bone to harden adequately.
The ridge of your jaw is where the teeth sit. In the event that a patient has gone without teeth for some time, the ridge can suffer bone loss. Using ridge augmentation we build the ridge to prepare the jaw bone to receive an implant.
The maxillary sinuses are located above your upper molars. The sinus cavities are the passages through which air travels from your nostrils to the back of your throat. They are short, winding passages that are lined with a thin membrane. It is important for us to take the sinus cavity into consideration when placing implants in the posterior roof of your mouth.
It sometimes becomes necessary to lift the sinus cavity out of the way of the implant, in order to avoid damaging any part of your sinus cavity and to ensure that the implant will have adequate support.
Vertical Sinus Augmentation
When there is some bone remaining between the sinus and the planned implant site we can sometimes push it up toward the sinus and fill the void left behind using a vertical sinus augmentation. After the bone has been altered we can place a graft in the site where the bone was moved from. Implants are typically placed between 4 and 6 months after this procedure is finished.
Lateral Sinus Augmentation
When there is very little bone left between the procedure sit and the sinus cavity/lining lateral sinus augmentation allows for the most amount of bone regeneration possible. We create a window to the side of the jawbone and expose the sinus membrane with it. The membrane is carefully lifted using this window in order to provide room for the bone grafting material that we will then place below it. Implant placement can sometimes follow immediately but often require 4-6 months to be placed following this procedure.
What Is Involved in Getting Dental Implants?
There are four phases to implant treatment. They are:
- Implant placement
- Implant uncovering
- Prosthetic phase (providing replacement teeth)
- Maintenance phase
Phase I – Implant Placement
During this phase, we will place the titanium posts into your jaw. We do this in our office using a local anesthetic (Novocain) and oral or IV sedation, depending on what you prefer. We do offer a board-certified anesthesiologist for those who wish to undergo IV or general sedation – just let us know what you would like ahead of time.
This is the most intensive portion of the procedure and will (typically) require a decent amount of recovery and healing time. Implants often sit submerged below the gum line and are difficult or impossible to see. Sometimes they are left exposed and look a bit like a round piece of metal that is flush with the gum line. During recovery, the bone around your implant is hardening and growing around the implant threads in a process called osseointegration.
During recovery from this procedure you can wear temporary prosthesis and may need to resort to a softer foods diet. You can usually return to work the day following the procedure. We prescribe medication to ensure your comfort as well as antibiotics.
Phase 2 – Implant Exposure (not always necessary)
If the implants are submerged in your gums while your recovery this will be a necessary following procedure. Once we are confident that the bone has integrated with the implant we can follow up with this minor procedure. We will uncover the implants and attach a healing collar to the top of them. The collar helps to keep them exposed while giving your gums a clear boundary of where the prosthetic will sit in order to prep the area.
After the collar has been attached you will still be able to wear any temporary prosthesis you need. If the implant was never below the gums, this is a step that doesn’t need to take place.
Phase 3 – Implant Prosthetics (providing replacement teeth)
After several week the soft tissues of your mouth will be healed enough for us to take some impressions of your mouth. We will use these impressions to fabricate the prosthesis that will be held in place by your implant. Implants can serve as the foundation for single teeth, dental bridges, even full dentures be supported in a permanent way by implants. It will take several weeks for the prosthesis to be fabricated.
Once healing is done and the prosthesis has been fabricated it will be time to attach the prosthesis. We place an abutment on top of the implant, which gives the prosthesis the surface area that it need to be attached firmly to the implant. We use a permanent dental cement when placing permanent prostheses.
Phase 4 – Maintenance
When you have your finished implants and restorations placed, that’s just the beginning of your life with your implant. Just like anything that you want to stay nice, you have to treat is nicely. Dental implants can last you many decades, even your whole life if they are cared for properly. Make sure to take care of your teeth at home and come in regularly for professional examinations and cleanings.