Overview of Implant Placement
What Are Dental Implants?
A natural tooth consists of a root and a crown. If you compare natural teeth to implant-supported replacement teeth, you’ll see they have the same basic parts. Both have a crown (the visible part used to chew food). Both have a root that holds the tooth securely under the gum and is anchored into the jaw. The difference is that the implant is made of titanium – the same time-tested material used by surgeons for artificial joints. When you lose a tooth, you lose both the root and the crown. To replace the tooth, Dr. Schwartz will first replace the root with a small dental implant.
Time is allowed for bone to heal and grow around the dental implant. The bone bonds with the titanium, creating a strong foundation for artificial teeth. A support post (abutment) is then placed on the implant and a new replacement tooth (crown) is placed on top of the abutment. In many cases a temporary replacement tooth can be attached to the implant immediately after it is placed. If all of your teeth are missing, a variety of treatment options are available to support the replacement teeth.
The Surgical Procedure
The procedure to place an implant takes 30 to 45 minutes for one implant and only about 1 to 1 1/2 hours for multiple implants. The number of appointments and time required, vary from patient to patient. Dr. Schwartz will bring great precision and attention to the details of your case.
Prior to surgery, you may receive intravenous sedation or nitrous oxide (laughing gas) for your comfort during the surgical procedure. Dr. Hauser will discuss these options with you at your consultation appointment. A local anesthetic will be administered to numb the area where the implant will be placed.
When you are comfortable, Dr. Schwartz will make a small incision in the gum tissue to reveal the bone, create space using special instruments, and gently insert the titanium implant. The top of this implant is often visible through the gum. Sometimes it is better in the early stages of healing to have the implant covered by the gum tissue.
2. Tooth Loss
3. Healed Bone
4. Implant Placed
6. Implant Restored
The Healing Phase
Now the healing begins. The length of time varies from person to person, depending upon the quality and quantity of bone. In some cases, implants may be restored immediately after they are placed. Dr. Schwartz will advise you on follow-up care and timing. Dr. Schwartz generally will place an abutment (support post) or a healing cap on the implant during the placement surgery. Depending on the case, he may wait for an initial phase of healing, and place the abutment (support post) or a healing cap onto the implant during a brief follow-up visit. This allows gum tissue to mature and provides access to the implant.
Impressions can be taken after a period of healing, at you general dentists for your final implant crown. This enables the crown to be ready when the implants have healed. How long your mouth needs to heal is determined by a variety of factors. Follow-up care (one to four appointments) is usually needed to ensure that your mouth is healing well and to determine when you are ready for the restorative phase of your treatment.
Whether it’s one tooth or all of your teeth that are being replaced, your dentist will complete the restoration by fitting the replacement tooth (crown) to the dental implant.
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.
When Are Dental Implants Placed?
Implants are often placed about three months after extraction. You will come back for two or three follow up visit after the implant is placed to remove sutures and check on healing. About three months after initial implant placement you will return for an x-ray to check healing and then Dr. Schwartz will advise you on when the final restoration can be completed with your general dentist. At times, an implant may be placed immediately after extraction of a tooth. This may involve a little more risk, but it simplifies the process—you won’t have to wait for another appointment to place the implant. When infection or other problems with the bone are present, immediate implant placement is not the best treatment.
If your tooth has been missing for some time, the adjacent support bone is likely to grow thinner and shrink. This occurs because the root of the natural tooth has to be present to stimulate the bone. As much as one third of your jaw’s thickness can be lost in the year following tooth extraction. If you are missing enough bone, you may benefit from having additional bone grafted into the area. This ensures the implant will be adequately supported when it is placed in the jaw.
How Many Implants Do I Need?
Most frequently, one implant per missing tooth is placed. Because many of the larger teeth in the back of your jaws have two or three roots, the most common approach is to replace missing back teeth with larger implants. If an implant supported denture is recommended there may be a couple implants placed on the upper and lower arches to anchor the denture. All of these options will be discussed with Dr. Schwartz at your initial implant consultation. Please call our office at Daniel M. Schwartz DMD MD LLC Phone Number 216-464-1200 to schedule your initial visit with Dr. Schwartz.
Implant procedures can generally be performed by Dr. Schwartz in our in-office surgical suites with local anesthetic, Nitrous Oxide Sedation with local anesthetic, or IV Sedation with local anesthetic.