Dental implant treatment is complex and technique sensitive and although the documented long-term success rates are extremely high, it is important to understand that these clinical studies were based on procedures being performed by highly skilled specialists and experienced restorative dentists. These procedures cannot be mastered in an abbreviated training course and patients should not be rushed through the treatment process. A basic knowledge of what is involved in providing successful treatment and what to expect during procedures can be beneficial for patients.
Diagnosis and treatment planning are critical components of successful dental implant treatment. The restorative dentist and surgical specialist collaborate, utilizing advanced technology to develop the ideal treatment plan for each patient.
Special surgical procedures are utilized to preserve the bone surrounding the teeth that are being removed, particularly in the front of the mouth. This technique sensitive procedure is usually performed by experienced surgical specialists.
In some cases dental implants are surgically placed immediately following removal of failing teeth. In other cases, it is better to place a bone graft and delay implant placement to allow time for new bone growth for increased stability.
Bone grafting is often necessary to prepare the implant site and achieve an ideal functional and esthetic result. Upper posterior teeth that have been missing for many years usually requires a sinus lift/graft prior to implant placement.
Dental implant-supported replacement teeth range from single crowns to dentures with special attachments for retention. Designing and fabricating replacement teeth are a collaboration between the restorative dentist and dental laboratory.
Although dental implants do not decay, maintenance is still required. The restorative dentist usually determines specific home care and how often patients should be seen to clean the teeth and implants, and evaluate the bone with x-rays.