Dental Implants

Dental implants are replacements for the roots of missing teeth.They provide a foundation for replacement teeth that can look, feel and function like natural teeth. The implants are small titanium posts which are placed into the jawbone. The bone bonds with the titanium to create abase for replacement teeth. In addition, dental implants help to preserve facial structure, preventing the bone deterioration which occurs when teeth are missing. Dental implants are used to support fixed partial dentures (bridges), partials, and complete dentures (overdentures).

Dental implants are changing the way people live! With them, people are rediscovering the comfort and confidence to eat, speak, laugh and enjoy life.

Dental Implants: Stages in Treatment

Evaluation and Planning for Dental Implants

Dr. Bishop or Dr. Abey will perform a detailed examination. Sometimes a CT scan will be necessary to allow us to see your bone in 3 dimensions. Dr. Abey is trained in the surgical placement of dental implants, therefore you may be surgically treated within the practice or, depending on the case, you may be referred to an outside implant surgeon for evaluation.

After the surgeon’s evaluation, Dr. Bishop or Dr. Abey and the surgeon will work as a team to “fine tune” the details of your treatment. The surgeon’s input may modify the treatment plan slightly. Any changes will then be discussed with you. This can be done by phone or by another visit to our office.
Sometimes preparation bone grafting is necessary. Details of this will be discussed by the surgeon. There is usually a healing period after bone grafting of 3-6 months before the dental implants can be placed.
Implant Placement
Before the implants are placed, a surgical stent is usually fabricated by our in-house dental laboratory. This is a guide for the surgeon to use to help him/her place the implant in the exact position and at the correct angulation to provide the best possible final result. It is made by reverse engineering from a mock up of the final implant restoration.
The surgical placement of dental implants is usually done in-office and with local anesthesia, in conjunction with nitrous oxide sedation or intravenous sedation, if the patient desires.
We will plan for you to have a temporary tooth or prosthesis to wear right after surgery. It would be unusual for us to ask you to go without teeth during initial healing.
After the implant has bonded to the jawbone, the second phase begins. Dr. Bishop or Dr. Abey can then start making your new teeth. An impression is made. Then posts or attachments can be connected to the implants. The replacement teeth are then made over the posts or attachments. The entire process usually takes 8 weeks to eight months depending on the complexity. Most patients do not experience any disruption in their daily life.
Immediate Implants
Sometimes a tooth can be extracted and the implant placed at the same time. This may be done when there is no infection involving the tooth to be removed and when the implant is similar in shape and size to the root it is replacing.
Immediate Crowns and Full Arch Bridges (Fixed Prothesis)
Sometimes it is possible to place a temporary (provisional) crown or implant on the same day or day after the implant is placed. This depends on the quality (density) of the bone and the biting relationship of the teeth. We will arrange for this to be done whenever the surgeon states that it will not compromise the final result.
When a whole jaw is being reconstructed with dental implants, an immediate fixed provisional bridge may be possible. This means that fixed teeth are placed in the mouth on the day of surgery. Dr. Bishop is a certified “Teeth in a Day” provider.
Implants for Over dentures
When implants are to be used to retain dentures or partials a simple snap attachment is connected to the implant extending only a few millimeters above the gumline. The final denture is connected and the opposite half of the snap attachment is bonded to the inside of the denture. Overdenture treatments are a very cost effective way of achieving a secure and well fitting denture.
Mini Implants
Mini implants are a recent variation of conventional implants. They can be used wherever sufficient bone exists for conventional implants. They can be used to retain overdentures and crowns or very small teeth such as lower and upper incisors. The bond to bone may not be quite as good as that of conventional implant as they are smaller in length and diameter. The placement surgery is less involved and this approach can be more economical than conventional implants. Dr. Abey is certified in the placement of mini implants. We do not yet have long term clinical data on the longevity of mini implants.