The first thing you need to ensure success with your dental implant procedure is to find a dental implant dentist who is qualified, knowledgeable, and experienced. In the Denver, CO area, you need look no further than C.S. Family Dental, where Dr. Buhmjoon Sohn, a skilled and experienced dental implant dentist provides advanced dental care.
Dental Implants Provide Lasting and Reliable Tooth Replacement
Dental implants have been around since the 1980s, and since that time, they have been tested, studied, and fitted onto thousands of patients yearly. Over three decades, thousands of clinical cases have provided dentists with key insights into the specific factors that make this treatment successful in about 95% of all patients fitted with dental implants. This extensive body of knowledge also provides essential information about how to prevent failures with dental implants in the rare cases when the dental implant procedure doesn’t go as smoothly as planned.
The Dental Implant Procedure
The process of inserting dental implants consists of several parts. The actual implant, consisting of a metal post that resembles a small screw, is attached to the jawbone below the gum line to replace the root of the lost tooth. This procedure usually produces only minimal discomfort and is performed in the dental office under local anesthesia. Most dental implants are made of titanium, a versatile material that is used in many surgical applications due to its capacity to fuse with living bone tissue by means of osseointegration, a process that may take several months. This process is crucial to the success of the dental implant surgery, as it provides the solid foundation upon which the new tooth will be supported. Once the process of osseointegration has been completed, a crown will be affixed onto the implant, above the gum line, to replace the actual tooth. This procedure is known in the dental field as “loading.”
Preparing for Dental Implants
When preparing for dental implants, Dr. Sohn will inquire about your full medical history and perform a comprehensive examination, including the evaluation of a full set of x-rays. This will help him to assess the quality of your jawbone as well as the number of implants that will be required for the procedure. He may advise you to suspend taking certain prescription and over-the-counter medications and supplements in order to prepare for the procedure. Careful planning must go into the determination of the appropriate number and location of each implant, the impact or biting forces that each one will be exposed to, and the specific crowns, bridgework, or prostheses that should be used with each one.
Factors to Consider
One key factor that will greatly affect the outcome of your dental implant procedure is the condition of your underlying jawbone, including the volume and density of your bone tissue. This is especially important in ensuring an optimal outcome with dental implants because it provides the sturdy foundation that will support the new tooth in its daily function of withstanding repeated impact from the pressure of biting and chewing. If you do not have sufficiently dense bone tissue, or if your bone tissue is generally of poor quality, Dr. Sohn may have to augment the underlying bone by means of a bone grafting procedure. If you require this, you will have to wait for the bone tissue to heal, which usually takes several months, before you can go ahead with the dental implant treatment.
Certain medical conditions can affect the volume, and density of bone tissue, and thus impair the body’s ability to heal properly after a dental implant procedure. Some of these conditions include diabetes, as well as any condition involving immunological deficiencies. Patients with osteoporosis will likely require a bone graft procedure prior to treatment, and smokers must give up their smoking habit in order to reduce their risk for implant failure, since smoking can delay healing.
Troubleshooting Early Implant Failures
In a handful of patients, the titanium implant may not properly fuse with the natural bone tissue. This may be due to a preexisting or postoperative inflammatory condition or infection at the site of the implant. In those cases, treating the underlying infection and repeating the procedure usually suffices.
In some cases, the implant may fail to fuse with the bone due to a thin encasement that the body secretes around it, preventing the integration process. In these instances, the implant may be replaced with a wider one once the socket has healed.
Most early implant failures are easily corrected, although in some cases they may reveal other underlying problems that must be addressed before dental implants can be inserted successfully.
Same-Day Implants or Immediate Loading After Implant Surgery
While it is not normally advisable to load newly inserted dental implants with crowns until the process of osseointegration has fully completed, in areas that are highly visible, Dr. Sohn may place a provisional or temporary crown over an implant on the same day for aesthetic purposes. This process of positioning a temporary crown as a placeholder while the underlying tissue heals is called “immediate provisionalization with no loading,” and its goal is to reduce the potential for impact, movement, or stress on the new implant while still providing an aesthetic solution. The temporary crown in these cases is usually much shorter than the length of the patient’s other teeth, preventing the tooth from ever coming into contact with its opposite tooth on the other jaw, so as to diminish any possibility of impact or stress caused by the biting force.
In cases where an entire set of implants is being inserted as a replacement for a whole arch of teeth, Dr. Sohn may be able to load those teeth right away without risking implant failure, because when the implants are joined together as a solid unit onto a rigid arch, this keeps them immobilized and stable during the process of osseointegration.