Dental implants are a means of replacing one or more missing teeth. Implants can be used to support crowns to replace single missing teeth or bridges to support multiple missing teeth. They may be used to support existing, new or partial dentures.
Missing teeth can now be replaced in a predictable cost effective manner. In many circumstances implants are considered the best option to replace missing teeth as they can offer a stable aesthetic and functional option for spaces in the mouth.
The first modern dental implants were placed in Australia in 1988.The doctors at Northside Dental & Implant Centre have been actively involved in implant reconstruction since 1992. Dr Sweeney has been involved in postgraduate implant teaching for almost as long.
As with everything, planning is the key. Today’s modern 3-Dimensional scanning and planning software allow implant placement to be even more accurate. The initial consultation process involves listening to your wishes, followed by the comprehensive treatment planning process.
Dr Sweeney combines the information obtained from the specialised 3-Dimensional scan with specialised software and his years of experience to determine the most appropriate surgical protocol for your needs. Computer generated surgical guides are generated for use on the day of surgery to optimise the most appropriate implant position.
Stage 1 - Surgery:
A biocompatible titanium implant is placed into the bone of the patient using sterile surgical procedures and intravenous conscious sedation techniques. The implant serves as the “root” of the new tooth.
A number of factors will determine what happens next.
The bone density, initial stability of the implant at the time of surgery, and what the implant will finally support will determine whether the implant has a provisional restoration attached, or whether the bone is allowed more time to heal prior to the “teeth” being added.
In cases of option 1 above, the implant will remain covered by gum for between three to four months. This technique may be required in cases of extensive bone grafting at the same time as implant placement. In cases where the gum is allowed to heal over the implant, a second phase of surgery to “uncover” the implant will be required. Following the four month healing phase, the implant will be surgically uncovered and an impression taken for the new crown or bridge.
In cases of option 2, the healing abutment will project through the gum into the mouth. In these cases, either a provisional partial denture or a provisional bonded bridge would be used to replace the missing tooth or teeth.
In cases of option 3 above, when a temporary crown is placed at the time of the initial surgery, the definitive crown will not be placed until a healing period of at least three months has occurred and the implant stability assured.
The minimum time for implant reconstruction will therefore vary for every cases. Another three to four months may be required should large bone grafting techniques be required to build up or augment bone prior to implant surgery.
Computer Guided Implant Surgery
Using the latest advances in digital imaging, we are now able to plan the exact positions of dental implants and place them in virtual reality prior to any surgery taking place. This type of planning allows for minimally invasive surgery, as computer guides allow for more accurate implant placement.
A 3-dimensional scan of your jaw is taken, as well as a 3-dimsensional scan of an impression of your mouth. The scans are superimposed to create an accurate 3-dimensional surgical guide that will allow for implant placement.
This simplifies surgery often making it possible to place a fixed provisional bridge on the same day.
All-On-4 refers to an implant reconstruction of all teeth in a particular arch, upper or lower, being supported by only 4 dental implants.
All-on-4 is not an invention, rather a clinical technique that has evolved over many years. The name has been registered as a protected trademark.
Due to the bite forces generated in the mouth and the load bearing capacity of bone, typically more than 4 implants have been used to support a full arch of teeth. Research as far back as 1977 suggested 4 implants may be adequate enough to support a full arch, depending on the type of bone and forces generated.
There are many advantages to immediate implant reconstruction including:
- Minimizing treatment time.
- Immediate “fix” with teeth that do not have to be removed.
- Improved bite force from day 1.
Due to the complex nature of a full arch reconstruction, Dr Sweeney prefers an individual approach to every patient. Four implants may be enough to support, however more may be required.
It is his attention to detail when planning each implant cast that has allowed him to become so well respected in the implant world. Teaching, lecturing and presenting his cases over many years allows him to share this knowledge with students and colleagues alike.
Following comprehensive treatment planning, the most appropriate treatment option for ach individual case will be discussed.
Bone Grafting and Ridge Preservation
In the unfortunate event of tooth loss, the bone that once supported the tooth will shrink away. In fact, some studies have shown 30-40% of tooth supporting bone will be lost in the first 3 months following tooth extraction.
Should tooth supporting bone be lost, the overlying soft tissue, or “gum”, will also shrink. This may cause a number of problems including:
- loss of aesthetics, creating gaps and spaces between the adjacent teeth
- food traps between adjacent teeth
- Expensive and complicated revision procedures
In order to prevent the loss of gum and bone following tooth extraction, dentists will often fill the extraction socket with some type of augmentation material. Many types of materials are used to augment extraction sockets however they all achieve the same result. They help preserve bone volume by limiting bone loss and regenerating new tissue.
The materials used help to maintain the existing height and volume of bone. They form a scaffold through which natural bone may grow. The new bone slowly develops, minimising bone loss and its adverse effects.
Tooth socket preservation is an increasingly predictable and routine treatment modality. It is often the first treatment in the restoration of a space created by tooth loss in order to maintain as many options as possible. Often, a corresponding soft tissue graft may also be performed to maintain or increase the amount of gum around an extraction socket.
Procedures such as ridge preservation and soft tissue grafting are fast becoming a routine part of treatment following tooth loss, helping to maximise future treatment options and cosmetic requirements.
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Your professional dentist who really cares about your smile.60
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25 Years Experience in Dental Implants
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We specialise in the treatment of anxious or phobic patients
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