Dental implants have been in use in our region since the mid 1980’s. Since then, they have undergone modifications in design that make them more predictable, versatile and aesthetic. The present designs have been used since the mid 1990’s, and have gone through only subtle changes to assist in integration and make their prosthetic applications more straight forward for your restoring dentist and more convenient for you. Traditionally placed implants are now better than 90% successful.
Their most common use is to replace a missing tooth or teeth and have crowns placed without effecting adjacent natural teeth. They are very useful in providing better support for removable partial and full dentures. For many patients who have struggled with loose and uncomfortable dentures, dental implants may offer a wonderful solution.
Standard of Care vs State of the Art:
Treatment planning for implants usually requires the use of a panorex-like x-ray to evaluate the site planned for implant placement. However, this type of radiograph can have an uncorrected distortion of up to 19%! At Champlain Valley Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, we have a state of the art Planmeca Promax cone beam CT scanner available for use in our treatment planning. Not only does this provide digitally corrected planning tools for measuring, but is capable of evaluating the implant site in three dimensions. It is also capable of gauging relative bone density. All of this makes the planning process more precise. Implants can be placed with greater predictability and comfort while minimizing risk of injury to anatomically sensitive areas such as nerve bundles, sinuses and adjacent teeth. Implant selection and position are all confirmed by your restoring dentist prior to placement.
Occasionally, at the time of tooth extraction, it may be advantageous to graft the extraction site in order to develop a more ideal area for later implant placement. The graft materials can vary, but will usually consist of your own harvested bone or a cadaver based product. If a cadaver based produced is used, it will come from a supplier that follows the strictest mandated guidelines for donor screening, product preparation and handling. In the end, these materials are used because, in the proper environment, they are 100% resorbed and replaced by your own native bone. This allows greater success for your planned implant. If your CVOMS surgeon feels that site preservation will be a valuable asset to your future implant, he will be certain to discuss the benefits and risks of this addition before your extraction.
On occasion, a treatment plan calls for an implant to be placed in an area with inadequate supporting bone. If this is the case, a bone graft may be recommended. This may be necessary where the cone beam CT shows that the sinus is too close to the surface or that a major nerve may be at risk. You own bone may be harvested from a separate donor site and secured in the appropriate area to provide greater bone volume and allow for the future placement of the implant. Your CVOMS surgeon will provide you with the details including anesthetic choices, risks, benefits and predicted recovery times.
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.
Implant Placement Surgery:
Our Surgical Team is well-trained in the techniques necessary for the proper placement of implant(s). The placement is comfortable and relatively stress free for the patient. Most implants can be placed with local anesthesia although sedation techniques and general anesthesia can be utilized for larger procedures or for patients who find procedures anxiety provoking. A pre-made surgical guide will frequently be used to insure the greatest precision in implant placement. The goal of the surgery is to prepare the site without triggering an inflammatory reaction from the receiving bone. The post operative discomfort is surprisingly low. The only discomfort is usually the result of soft tissue retraction near the implant. Your CVOMS surgeon will usually provide a prescription for managing any post operative discomfort.
Post Operative care and Follow-Up:
Your CVOMS Surgical Team will provide you with post operative instructions tailored for your specific needs. You will usually have a post operative visit in a week to 10 days.
Depending on the final plan and the quality of the bone where your implant is placed, it will take about 2 to 6 months for your implant to osseointegrate. In some rare situations, the implants can be readied for immediate loading. In either event, your implant will be tested at CVOMS prior to returning you to your local dentist for restorative procedures.
Throughout the course of your recovery, your restoring dentist will be kept appraised of your progress and will be told, in writing, exactly which implants and components have been placed, and appropriate contact numbers should further support be needed.