Guide to Posterior Implants
The information in the Guide to Posterior Implants provides a comprehensive explanation of the consequences of missing teeth, a comparison of dental implants and bridges, and a detailed description of posterior implant procedures. We encourage you to review all of the pages to help you make an informed decision about your treatment options.
Assuming that the posterior tooth has not been missing for any length of time, so that the adjacent and opposing teeth have not shifted position, posterior tooth replacement is usually fairly straightforward in the hands of an experienced specialist.
If the tooth has not yet been removed, the first step will be the surgical removal of the tooth, utilizing a delicate technique that preserves the surrounding bone, which is necessary for the proper placement of the dental implant. For molars, which are larger teeth, bone grafting material is often used following tooth removal to fill in the large tooth socket where the much smaller dental implant will be placed. In these cases, the dental implant surgery is usually scheduled several weeks to a few months following the procedure for tooth removal and bone grafting.
A delicate surgical technique is used to shape the bone for the precise placement of the dental implant. Once the site has been prepared, the dental implant is placed in the proper position, stabilized by the surrounding bone. A provisional, or temporary replacement tooth is not necessary unless the space is visible.
The dental implant is then left undisturbed for a period of several weeks so that the bone can remodel around the dental implant, forming a strong biological bond. Once the bone has fused to the dental implant, a small connector post, called an abutment is attached to the implant. The final replacement crown, fabricated by a restorative dentist in conjunction with a dental laboratory, will eventually be attached to the abutment.