When You Loose a Tooth What is the best way to Replace it?

When You Loose a Tooth What is the best way to Replace it?

When a patient looses a tooth there are 4 options:

1. Do nothing and simply live without the tooth.
2. Replace the tooth with a removable partial denture.
3. Replace the tooth with a fixed bridge (as long as there are strong teeth on either side of the empty space)
4. Replace the tooth with an implant supported crown.

A dental implant replaces the root of the missing tooth and allows the dentist to attach a crown (or cap) to an area where there is a missing tooth. Implant supported crowns are widely regarded as a long lasting solution that is the most like your own tooth. You can floss it, you can chew whatever you want, it looks very realistic, and it won't ever decay.
In the past-and even in many practices today-a typical implant procedure goes like this. The gums are cut open and peeled back, exposing the jaw bone. The implant is then placed into the bone and the gums are sutured closed. After several months of healing, the gums are opened again, exposing the top of the implant so that the dentist can attach a crown, and more sutures are placed. The problem with this approach is it involves 2 surgical procedures instead of 1, there are sutures to remove after the procedures, and there is more post op discomfort than is really necessary-as you will soon discover.

With the advent of low-dose digital CT technology, the jaw bone can be accurately visualized on the computer in 3 dimensions, just as if you are holding the person's jaw bone in your hand. The CT is to proper scale for accurate measurements. The data from the CT is integrated into implant design software that allows the dentist to drag and drop-on the computer-the implant of choice into the exact location in the jaw bone that works. Vital structures, such as the trigeminal nerve and the maxillary sinus, can be accurately identified, located-and avoided-prior to surgery. With this information, a surgical guide can be made, that allows the surgeon to place the implant exactly as pre-determined in the design software. This is called Guided Implant Surgery.

An added advantage to Guided Implant Surgery is that only a small hole the width of the actual implant needs to be made to secure the implant into place. There is usually no need to make a large cut into the gums or to peel them back, or to suture them at all. (The exception is when bone grafting needs to be done.) Since there is so much less trauma to the patient during this procedure, there is much less post operative discomfort. The implant is placed in one easy-pre-planned-procedure.

To summarize the advantages of Guided Implant Surgery:
1. Less surgical trauma
2. Less painful procedure
3. More comfortable recovery
4. More accurate implant placement
5. More ideal placement of implant supported crown
6. Fewer procedures
7. Less time spent at the dentist or surgeon
8. Safer 

If you are interested in replacing a tooth and you have thought about getting an implant, please call our office at 702-463-8600

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Dr. Laurie published on September 23, 2013 3:39 PM.

Dental lasers and how they benefit the patient was the previous entry in this blog.

What can you do at home to maintain your dental health in between your dental visits. is the next entry in this blog.

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