In the past, when people lost teeth, there were only three basic treatment options available for restoring them; fixed partial dentures (bridges), removable partial dentures, and complete dentures. With the development of dental implants, it may now be possible for each missing tooth to be restored with an individual implant, abutment and crown, closely replicating the form, function and aesthetics of the lost tooth. Dental implants also help to preserve bone which is normally lost following tooth extraction. In addItion to supporting individual crowns, implants may also be used to support fixed bridges and dentures, or help retain removable dentures.
Implant treatment is a team effort involving the surgeon's office and our restorative office. Implant therapy is normally divided into two major phases; surgical and restorative. If a patient elects to have implant treatment, we may take intraoral photographs and impressions for study models which will be used in treatment planning and fabrication of temporary restorations. You will then be referred to a surgeon who will consult with you, prepare the site for implant placement and schedule a surgical appointment when your implants will actually be placed. In many cases, when a tooth has to be extracted, an implant can be placed at the same time. Following implant placement, there is normally a healing period of 3-4 months during which the implants integrate with the surrounding bone. After receiving a surgical release from the implant surgeon, you will commonly have a digital scan performed at the surgeon's office. This digital information will be used by our labs to fabricate custom abutments and crowns. When you return to our office, we will complete the restorative phase of treatment where teeth are placed on your implants.