What is an Implant?
A dental implant is an artificial tooth root made of titanium and used to support a crown, bridge or denture.
Why does Dr. Dickinson recommend an Implant?
Because you have one or more missing teeth and the dentist feels this is the best treatment option for you. It is a great solution to replacing teeth because they function just like your natural teeth and eliminate the need to do further dentistry on the neighboring teeth, unlike a bridge. The implant acts as the root of the tooth and prevents bone loss in the area of an extracted or missing tooth.
What does the procedure entail for a single Implant and Crown?
Appointment 1: If a patient still has a tooth that requires extraction, Dr. Dickinson removes the tooth.
Appointment 2: six-eight weeks later a periapical or 3D panoramic x-ray is taken of the area (this shows the bone and makes sure that there is enough bone to place the implant).
Appointment 3: Dr. Dickinson places the implant. This is STAGE 1.
Appointment 4: One week after placing the implant, you come back to have Dr. Dickinson check the stability of the implant and make sure it is healthy.
Appointment 5: six months later you come in and have another periapical x-ray taken to make sure the bone has ossified (grabbed hold) of the implant and see if you require STAGE 2. Many patients do not. Stage 2 consists of lasering any gum tissue that has grown over the implant.
Appointment 6: STAGE 2 AND STAGE 3. Stage 3 of the implant involves taking an impression for the crown (tooth) portion of the implant. This is sent away to our dental lab in Canada and comes back to be cemented 3-4 weeks later.
Appointment 7: Cementation of implant crown (approximately a 20 minute appointment). Sometimes there is a hole left in the top of the crown. This allows for the dentist to get to the implant, should it need tightening in the future. The next appointment allows for a filling to fill this hole.
Appointment 8: Dr. Dickinson brings the patient back to tighten (torque) the implant and place a final filling in the top of the crown.
THE ENTIRE PROCEDURE FROM START TO FINISH IS APPROXIMATELY 9-12 MONTHS
Can you place a bridge or denture using implants?
Yes! Implants can be used to secure a bridge or a denture. If teeth are missing, implants are a great way to aesthetically replace teeth.
How do I care for the Implant at home?
Exactly how you would a natural tooth. It is essential that you take good care of your implant(s) by stimudenting, flossing and waterpiking. Rubber tip stimulators are also great at preventing inflammation around implants.
Can my Implant(s) Fail?
Yes. Implants are susceptible to peri-implantitis (an inflammatory process affecting the soft and hard tissues causing bone loss around an implant). If you are experiencing pain or feel like your implant is loose, please call the office right away!