Today it is usually possible to replace a missing tooth with an implant supported crown. Dental implants can also be used to support a fixed prosthesis (permanent bridge) or to stabilize a removable prosthesis (implant supported denture).
Dental implants are made from medical grade, sterile titanium which is well tolerated by our body tissues. More importantly, titanium possesses a unique attraction to bone which allows for a predictable molecular fusion of surrounding bone to the implant surface. This creates a very stable foundation for the dental restoration. In effect, the implant becomes a synthetic root.
A successful implant will have healthy, surrounding bone to support it. Bone preservation techniques, which may include grafting of bone shavings or chips, are often performed at the time of the tooth extraction to optimize healing for a future implant. The extraction socket will then re–ossify with new bone and will usually be allowed to heal for a period of 3 to 4 months. In some situations, an implant can be placed at the same time of the extraction.
The implant site is carefully prepared with cooling irrigation to minimize thermal injury to the surrounding bone and bone cells. Most implants will be allowed to heal for a period of 8 to 10 weeks prior to having the final restoration performed. During this time, a temporary crown or partial denture may be worn to provide function and aesthetics for the patient.
Each implant procedure is carefully planned by Dr. Johnson and the restorative dentist. They agree on the type and location of the implants to be placed and discuss whether interim prosthetics will be required. Some implant surgeries will be done as a single procedure with attachment of an abutment component which extends slightly through the gum tissues. In front teeth areas or where grafting is required, the implant is usually covered over and allowed to heal undisturbed. After a suitable healing period a minor exposure procedure is performed to remove the overlying gum tissue and attach the abutment. When Dr. Johnson is satisfied that the implant has healed properly with fusion to the surrounding bone he will inform the restorative dentist so that the prosthetic phase of the implant treatment can proceed.
Dr. Johnson has extensive experience with dental implants. To accommodate the varying needs of his restorative dentists and patients, he uses implants manufactured by the 3 leading companies: Nobel Biocare®, Biomet 3i™, and Straumann.
For details on dental implants, do not hesitate to contact Dr. Johnson’s office in Kanata for details.