Dental implants have been around for decades. In the past, blade implants require extensive periodontal surgery with extended patient recovery. But technology and specifically dental implants, have revolutionized dentistry. Single unit dental implants are now placed in one visit, often without being put to sleep. In the past if you were missing a tooth, dental bridges were the solution. Part of the teeth on either side of the missing tooth would be shaved, and a multi-unit bridge would be fabricated and attached to make it appear as if you were not missing a tooth. The main problem with bridges is that you are using a 3-tooth solution to a single unit problem. Modern dental implants offer a single tooth solution to a single tooth problem. Dental implants are also easier to maintain and a longer lasting restoration.
I’m constantly amazed with how technology is transforming dentistry. Extensive unpredictable periodontal surgery and large multi-unit bridge are no longer necessary. Today single or multi-unit implants often provide the best solution to missing teeth or badly damaged teeth. Dental implants are predictable and practical. Maybe you need an implant because of a congenitally missing tooth, or dental trauma, or even a bad decision. Dental implants are also great anchors for dentures. No matter what the reason for the missing tooth, dental implants are likely the best solution.
What Are They?
Dental implants are titanium rods that are surgically placed in the jawbone. Before placement of a dental implant, a dentist will take a radio graph or cone beam scan to evaluate the quality of bone at the surgical site. The procedure is routine and predictable. Local anesthesia is administrated, and the implant is placed. A surgical guide may be digitally fabricated before surgery to ensure correct placement. After placement the implant is covered and allowed to heal for 3 months. During this healing period pressure cannot be placed on the implant for it to heal correctly. If necessary, implants may be loaded immediately (a tooth added to the implant), but this option is not guaranteed and depends on several factors. While the patient and dental implant site is healing, they may choose to have a temporary restoration placed.