Implant Treatment

    Dental implants are an excellent way to replace a missing tooth or teeth.  They have been around in dentistry for many years and over time the material used, the surgical techniques, and the restorative procedures have been improved.  Today the success of implants is in the 98 to 99% range and they are expected to last 30 or more years if properly cared for by the patient and followed up by the dental professional.

The Problem:
 

- A missing tooth or teeth.
- Potential bite and jaw problems from teeth shifting to fill the space.
- The “sunken face” look associated with missing teeth.
- Desire to improve chewing ability.
- Desire for a more permanent solution than dentures.

The Solution:

A dental implant is an appliance used to replace the roots of teeth. The implant is surgically attached to the jaw bone and an artificial tooth is attached to the top of the implant, creating a natural looking, undetectable replacement for the missing tooth. In the event that more than one tooth is missing, several implants may provide a base for a series of artificial teeth known as a fixed bridge (see fixed bridges). Implants can even be used to secure a full set of removable dentures for people who have no remaining natural teeth. This can greatly improve chewing ability and reduce the risk of choking.

It generally takes about six months for the surgical implant to heal before the final installation of the artificial tooth or teeth can be finished.

Advantages:

Dental implants with artificial teeth are the closest thing to regrowing your natural teeth. They are strong, stable, durable and virtually undetectable. By filling gaps left by missing teeth, implants can provide better chewing ability and head off jaw joint problems. They are far superior to removable dentures.

Disadvantages:

Dental implants are excellent, state of the art restorations and have few disadvantages when compared to alternatives such as dentures. However, dental implants do require surgery and time to heal, and they are initially more expensive than dentures or fixed bridges. These disadvantages are offset by the ease of use, saved time and long term health benefits of implants.

Alternatives:

Dentures are a poor alternative to dental implants. However, in some cases, where finances are a primary concern, dentures are the only alternative.

In the case of a single tooth, a partial denture, a fixed bridge, or a Maryland bridge can be placed.  Cosmetically, these alternatives are not the same as that achieved with an implant and a crown.

Procedure:

    Our office has taken advanced courses in the placement of dental implants and we continually take continuing education in the field.  A complete examination, with photos, x-rays, and models are performed in office.  We refer our implant patients to an outside medical facility for a CT scan of the upper and lower jaw.  A treatment goal is determined with the patient's desired expectations in mind.  At no point do we want to have surprises develop and with proper planning at the start the treatment goes smoothly and a cosmetic as functional goal is achieved.

    Below are links to some cases our office performed.  Some were simple, others were very complex.  They all started with the complete examination and input from all parties involved in treating the case.

Cases:

Single Tooth 

Fixed Bridge Case

Before treatment there were broken teeth and decay. The best solution was the placement of implants.

4 implants were placed by Dr. Rob Schroering. Once healed we proceeded with the restorative treatment.

Finished case. The back implants retained two fixed bridges.

Removable Partial Denture Retention

Upper arch with implants on both sides with the attachments present.

Upper partial attached to the implants.

Patient's smile and the partial is esthetically pleasing and functional.

A lower partial retained with implants:

Lower arch with implants and attachments present.

Lower partial attached to the implants.

Patient's smile. Note the upper partial with clasps and the lower more cosmetic and retentive implant retained partial.

 

 Complete Denture Retention

The lower arch with four implants and attachments present.

The upper arch with six implants and attachments.

The dentures in place and the patient has a pleasing cosmetic result that is very retentive.

Upper implants and attachments.

Lower implants and attachments.

Dentures in place.

Patient has a good cosmetic result that is very functional.

 

2010 David W. Hammer, DMD, PSC