The placement and restoration of dental implants can occur in a wide variety of ways depending on the needs of the patient and the treatment protocols of the Dentist and Periodontist. The most usual procedure is for dental implants to be placed using the same anesthetic that is given for routine fillings, crowns or extractions. In fact, in most instances, having an implant placed is easier and less traumatic to the tissues than an extraction. If an individual is anxious or if the treatment requirements are extensive, then the use of light sedation may be indicated.
The gums are moved back to expose just enough of the bone to allow the Periodontist to evaluate the bone and to complete the placement of the implant. In some situations, if the bone is wide or if a tooth has just been extracted and there is good bone, the Periodontist may decide to place the implant without exposing the bone. Small drills are used to make a hole in the bone the same size as the dental implant. The implant is then pushed or threaded into place. If the gums were moved to expose the bone, it will be repositioned with a few sutures.
The number, size and spacing of the implants depends upon the treatment decided by the patient, Periodontist, and their Dentist. The implants are left to heal in the bone for different lengths of time depending on the nature of the bone and the type of dental restoration. Implants placed in the front of the lower jaw can sometimes have the teeth attached earlier due to the dense and strong nature of the bone in this area. Implants placed in bone that is soft and weak may need to heal as long as 4 months. This may be the case for grafted bone or bone in the back of the mouth. Various types of temporary teeth can be fabricated to wear during the healing phase by your General Dentist.
Placing teeth on the implants
Making teeth for implants depends on the number of implants placed and the design of the teeth determined by the patient and the Dentist. Usually a number of appointments are required to complete the fabrication of the new teeth. The first restorative appointment involves the making of an imprint of the tissues of the mouth and the position of the implants.
To create crowns that look like teeth, an abutment is screwed into the implant. The abutment is a piece of metal that emerges through the gum and resembles a tooth that has been prepared for a crown. A normal crown is attached to the implant with either cement or a screw. This crown is the same design as a crown that would be placed on a natural tooth.
If all teeth are missing the design is different. Often a metal bar is screwed into the implants and then teeth are attached to the bar by attachments. The patient can remove these teeth. In other designs, the teeth may be screwed directly to the implants and the patient cannot remove the teeth There are many uses for dental implants and different types of tooth replacement. Every patient should consult their Dentist for detailed information about their particular situation.