Dental implants are changing the way people live. They are designed to provide a foundation for replacement teeth that look, feel, and function like natural teeth. The person who has lost teeth regains the ability to eat virtually anything, knowing that teeth appear natural and that the jaw bone and facial contours will be preserved. Patients with dental implants can smile with confidence.
Dental implants should be placed by an experienced surgeon that has maintained continueing education in this very specialized and challenging surgical discipline. Placement of a dental implant is not a simple process. It requires precise diagnosis and treatment planning. The landscape of implant dentistry is constantly evolving. The use of Cone Beam CT (CBCT) diagnostic imaging and 3D implant surgical treatment planning is essential to success and is the standard of care in implant dental prosthetics.
Red Rocks Oral Surgery has a CBCT scanner on site so that you will be provided with immediate information about your particular needs. Red Rocks Oral Surgery also uses state of the art implant treatment planning software (Simplant) to design your case both surgically and restoratively. This information is communicated between Dr. Bundy and your restorative dentist throughout your care with us. This allows us to proceed with your case with the end in mind before any surgery is ever performed. You will have the opportunity to view your virtual procedure in advance of your procedure.
What Are Dental Implants?
The implants themselves are small titanium posts or inserts that are surgically placed in to the jaw bone where teeth are missing. The implants act as tooth root substitutes. The bone bonds with the titanium, creating a strong foundation for the artificial teeth. Small metal inserts (abutments) that protrude through the gums are then attached to the implant. These posts provide stable anchors for artificial replacement teeth.
Implants also help preserve facial structure, preventing bone deterioration that occurs when teeth are missing.
The Surgical Procedure
ONE STAGE SURGERY:
For most patients the placement of dental implants involves one surgical procedure.
Using the most recent advances in dental implant technology Dr. Bundy is most often able to place single stage implants. These implants do not require a second procedure to uncover them, but do require a minimum of six weeks of healing time before artificial teeth are placed. There are even situations where the implants can be placed at the same time as a tooth extraction – further minimizing the number of surgical procedures.
First implants are inserted within your jawbone. This requires placement of an incision at the planned implant site. At surgery a small healing cap is secured to the implant. The healing cap protrudes a short distance through the gum tissue. Sutures are then placed on either side of the healing cap to close the small wound. The implant is then allowed to heal for 6 weeks to allow it to integrate with your jaw bone. Once successful integration of the impalnt is confirmed you will return to your dentist for fabrication of the crown restoration.
TWO STAGE SURGERY:
In some instances two surgical procedures are required. This may be required if bone grafting is needed at the time of implant placement or if concerns are present regarding a patients ability to heal. For the first four months following surgery the implants are beneath the surface of the gums gradually bonding with the jawbone. You should be able to wear a temporary prosthesis or denture and eat a soft diet during this time.
After the implant has bonded to the jawbone the second phase of surgery begins. Dr. Bundy will uncover the implants and attach a healing cap to the implant (as noted above) that protrudes through the gum. After allowing a short time for the gum tissue to heal and mature around the healing cap (approximately 2 weeks) impressions are made by your dentist and the artificial teeth are placed. The entire procedure usually takes six months.
Most patients experience minimal disruption in their daily life during the course of therapy.
Dental Implants Presentation
To provide you with a better understanding of dental implants, we have provided the following multimedia presentation. Many common questions pertaining to dental implants are discussed.
Who Actually Performs the Implant Placement?
Dental Implant placement is a team effort between an oral and maxillofacial surgeon and a restorative dentist. While Dr. Bundy performs the actual implant surgery, initial tooth extractions, and bone grafting if necessary. The restorative dentist (your dentist) fits and makes the permanent prosthesis. Your dentist will also make any temporary prosthesis needed during the implant process.
What Types Of Prosthesis Are Available?
A single prosthesis (crown) is used to replace one missing tooth – each prosthetic tooth attaches to its own implant. A fixed implant supported bridge can replace two or more teeth and may require only two or three implants. A complete dental prosthesis replaces all the teeth in your upper or lower jaw. The number of implants varies depending upon which type of complete prosthesis (removable or fixed) is recommended. This prosthesis usually requires a minimum of 4 implants and possibly up to 6 implants. A removable prosthesis (over-denture) attaches to a bar or “ball in socket type” attachments, whereas a fixed prosthesis is permanent and removable only by the dentist. A fixed prosthesis is secured to your implants by small internal retention screws…permanently affixing it in the mouth.
Dr. Bundy performs in-office implant surgery in a surgical suite, thus optimizing the level of sterility.
Why Dental Implants?
Once you learn about dental implants you finally realize there is a way to improve your life. When you lose several teeth – whether it’s a new situation or something you have lived with for years – chances are you have never become fully accustomed to losing such a vital part of yourself.
Dental implants can be your doorway to renewed self-confidence and peace of mind. They are also priceless when it comes to improved chewing, nutrition, health and quality of life.
A Swedish scientist and orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Per-Ingvar Branemark, developed this concept for oral rehabilitation more than 35 years ago. With his pioneering research, Dr. Branemark opened the door to a lifetime of renewed comfort and self-confidence for millions of individuals facing the frustration and embarrassment of tooth loss.
Why Select Dental Implants Over More Traditional Types Of Restorations?
There are several reasons: Oral hygiene is easier to perform around a single implant supported restoration that is not connected to adjacent teeth. Why sacrifice the structure of surrounding good teeth to bridge a space? In order to place a bridge your natural teeth must be recontoured (shaved down). In addition, removing a denture or a “partial” at night may be inconvenient, not to mention that dentures that can slip or can be uncomfortable during chewing of foods and rather embarrassing if they become dislodged at unexpected moment.
Are You A Candidate For Implants?
If you are considering implants your mouth must be examined thoroughly by your dentist. Dental disease should be addressed and your gum tissue and bone tissue health around your natural teeth stable. Your medical and dental history will be reviewed. An examination of the proposed implant site is then completed. If the site is not ideal for placement of an implant, ways of improving optimizing the site for implant placement will be discussed and reviewed with you.
What Type Of Anesthesia Is Used?
The majority of dental implants and bone grafting procedures can be performed in the office under local anesthesia, with or without IV sedation.
Do Implants Need Special Care?
Once the implants are in place, they will serve you well for many years if you take care of them and keep your mouth healthy. This means taking the time for good home oral hygiene (brushing and flossing) and keeping regular appointments with your dental specialists. The success of implant prosthetics is not measured by having an implant heal in to the jaw bone. Rather the long term success is measured by maintenance of the restoration. Diligent home care and regular follow-up with your restorative dentist are critical to long term success of implant therapy.