dental implant procedures replacing missing teeth

Stage 1 – How many dental implants are used in the procedure?

As a general principle, as many implants as possible should be used when the procedure involves an implant supported denture. This allows the stresses of biting to be spread over the maximum number of implants, thus reducing the load on each particular one. It is sometime possible to have two or three implants placed, use them for a while and some time later, add more implants to improve the treatment plan. This is not an approach which is feasible in all situations and is probably most suited for treatment of the lower jaw where no teeth are present.

An example of this procedure might be the patient with no teeth in the lower jaw who has two or more implants placed in the first instance. By stabilising their denture using the implants, it can be held more firmly in place. Later on, if they have sufficient bone, more implants can be added and eventually fixed teeth placed on these implants eliminating the denture altogether. A number of the implant systems available today could support this approach. You can rest assurred at the Birmingham Periodontal & Implant Centre we only use the most established and researched dental implants in the world.

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Stage 2 – Obtain diagnostic material and dental examination

To plan the most suitable treatment for the patient certain information is helpful – for example photographs, x-rays, models of your teeth and jaws. In some circumstances, a more comprehensive three-dimensional x-ray evaluation using a CT scan may be requested to give greater detail of the shape of your jaws. The conventional x-ray views most familiar to patients are only 2-dimensional and subject to varying degrees of distortion and inaccuracy. Where important anatomical structures must be avoided during the implant procedure, the information they provide may therefore be inadequate. The CT scan in contrast can provide life-sized 3-dimensional information of all regions of the upper and/or lower jaw from which precise measurements can be taken for pre-operative treatment planning. In some cases the CT scan may also be used to establish the results of bone grafting procedures prior to placing implants.

Single tooth implant procedure animation


Stage 3 – Dental Implant Procedure success depend on good oral health

Implants survive best in a healthy environment. Any tooth decay or gum problems need to be corrected before implants are placed to give them the best chance of success. Sometimes treatment is needed before you are ready for the implants that will replace your missing teeth. At the Birmingham Periodontal and Implant Centre, our registered specialist in periodontics will assess your general oral health.
Gum Health: Some gum treatment may be necessary; this may involve the use of special brushing methods, flossing, tooth picks and small “bottle” brushes. Removal of unsaveable teeth: Despite advances in modern dentistry some teeth may have reached a stage when no treatment can save them. It is often best to remove them at an early stage, particularly if you are thinking of having dental implants so as to prevent further bone loss.

The success of the dental implant procedure can also be seriously affected by infections resulting from failed gum or root canal treatments or untreated gum disease or nerve problems in site adjacent to the implants. Long-standing infections of the gum tissues beneath dentures can also adversely affect healing at all the various surgical stages. Your mouth should be treated as a whole and not simply as unrelated regions; after all you don’t want to replace more missing teeth.

Stage 4 – Aftercare and the total duration of the treatment

This depends on the complexity of the treatment. Initially there is a treatment planning stage which may last a month or so. Then there may be some time spent on such preparatory procedures as improving gum health, removing any unsavaeble teeth and growing bone. This may take anything from a few weeks to many months. After implants are placed they are left to settle in place from three to six months. The final fitting of crowns or bridges or the attaching of dentures to the implants usually takes a number of appointments depending on your individual situation. Special medication is prescribed for you to help healing and produce minimal discomfort.

It is important that neither the patient nor the dental implant dentist attempt to rush the treatment or try to advance the various stages faster that the time required for complete healing and maturation of bone and soft-tissues. Even treatment that is well planned and executed, failure can result in moving too quickly from stage to stage. If you do not have the time available, then it may be more sensible to consider conventional forms of dentistry which can be completed more rapidly. There is more information provided here about getting teeth in a day. Your dental implant dentist may suggest that procedures to grow bone are undertaken separately from placing the implants, even though under certain conditions it is possible to combine these stages.