Implant dentistry has shown exciting advancements over the last several decades and has become one of the primary means to restore areas where teeth are missing. Implants consist of a titanium core that some feel resembles a screw which is placed into the bone. After healing a structure called an abutment is screwed into the implant and a crown is seated to restore where the missing tooth once was. In areas of the mouth where more than one tooth is missing two or more implants can be placed and a fixed bridge can be seated. In circumstances where the patient has no teeth implants can be placed which can retain a denture.
The implant system placed in our office has a special surface treatment that encourages the body to heal and integrate bone surrounding the implant. Also the implant design often leads to a high level of initial stability which can allow the restoration to take place sooner that what could have been expected traditionally.
Often implants can be placed immediately when a tooth is extracted if adequate healthy bone exists. Other times a delay or bone graft is necessary for the best success. A pre-operative CT scan helps in the decision making process but there are times that only direct visualization at the time of surgery indicates the best approach.