Dental Implants may be an option for you to replace a tooth if you are in good general health, take care of your gums, and have good bone surrounding that tooth. If your bone has shrunk or if it has not developed normally, you may be able to have a bone graft to build up the bone. A bone graft is a way of adding new bone to your existing bone. Dr. Gray will discuss with you if this is necessary prior to having a dental implant.
Why Should I Choose A Dental Implant?
Dental bridges may seem like the cheaper alternative when replacing a missing tooth. However, the fact is that it may not be cheaper in the long run. When a dental bridge is placed, it involves the preparation of the two adjacent teeth as well. The health of these two adjacent or supporting teeth is extremely critical for the prognosis of the bridge. The support for the structure of the dental bridge is highly dependent on the two adjacent teeth. Dental bridges need to be kept very clean, and if not, may also be at an increased risk for decay if not taking care of properly. Dental Implants, on the other hand, do not affect any of the other healthy adjacent teeth and cleaning in between the teeth is much easier, therefore, they have the BEST prognosis.
What Is Bone Grafting?
Bone Grafting is the process of replacing or augmenting bone around the teeth. Bone grafting is performed to reverse the bone loss / destruction caused by periodontal disease, trauma, or ill fitting removable dentures. It is used to augment bone to permit implant placement so the implant has good supporting structure to anchor into. If a tooth needs to be extracted, the ideal time to do a bone graft is at the time of extraction.
Synthetic bone is usually placed at the site and the gum is then sutured back together.
The last phase is then to place the abutment (ie: post) and dental crown on top of the implant. This is done at Dr. Gray's office. The abutment acts like a post for the crown and is screwed into the implant. The crown can either be cemented in or screwed in, depending on the specific situation.
If you have any questions on Dental Implants, please ask your Dental Hygienist or Dr. Gray about this latex free procedure when you come in to see us.
What Can I Expect?
The first stage of the process involves the bone assessment. If a bone graft is required, Dr. Gray or the periodontist will complete this stage prior to placing the implant to ensure there is enough bone to support the anchoring implant. This phase usually takes 3 months to allow the bone to ossify.