For the last few decades, implant dentistry has become a very popular solution to remediate the loss of teeth and durably restore both esthetics and mastication ability to (partially or fully) edentulous patients. The overall high success rate and predictability of the process, and the relatively small percentage of complications during and after implantation, have made this procedure highly accessible to the general population. A typical dental implant, includes theimplant body which is the part of the implant designed to be surgically placed into the bone. Theabutment is the part of the implant that serves to support and/or retain thesuprastructure (i.e., fixed or removable prosthesis).
If your jawbone is not able to support dental implants, several techniques can be used to rebuild the bone, restore your natural jawline and provide a sturdy foundation for implant-supported teeth. These include:
Bone augmentation. This involves restoring or regenerating the bone in your jaw when it is not able to support implants otherwise. Research shows that using bone additives and growth factors to fortify the bone generally achieves the best results.
Sinus lift. Also called sinus augmentation or sinus elevation, this involves adding bone below the sinus in cases where natural bone has deteriorated due to missing upper back teeth.
Ridge expansion. If your jaw isn’t wide enough to support dental implants, bone graft material can be added to a small ridge, or space, created along the top of your jaw.
3D Imaging and Treatment Planning
State-of-the-art, highly precise 3D digital imaging and implant surgical planning software have made implant procedures faster and highly predictable. In our practice we use these tools to analyze the anatomy of your jaw and determine the best points for implant placement before surgery. This saves time and money, and shortens recovery time.
Alternative Dental Implant Techniques
Depending on the health of your jawbone and your specific needs, we may suggest some alternative treatment options in addition to the traditional multi-step dental implant procedure. Options may include:
Immediate Load Dental Implants. Also called same day implants, immediate load dental implants allow placement of a temporary tooth during the same appointment as your dental implant placement. This may be a good option if you have enough natural bone and an implant secure enough to support immediate placement and pressure on the new temporary tooth.
Dental implants with Locator®. They are placed through less-invasive techniques and are used primarily to stabilize a lower denture.
All-on-4®. All-on-4 is an alternative to placing a top or bottom set of replacement teeth, called a full arch. Four dental implants are placed in the available bone, avoiding the need for bone grafting. Special abutments are used so that a temporary set of replacement teeth can be placed the same day. You follow a modified diet while the gum tissues heal and the implants bond with your natural bone. After about six months, the permanent replacement teeth will be placed and you can resume a regular diet.