You may be able to get the smile you’ve always dreamed of…in one visit.
By Dr. Kurt A. Doolin
Photos courtesy Doolin Haddad Advanced Dentistry
Sponsored by Doolin Haddad Advanced Dentistry
Amazingly, the answer is yes! A properly trained implant dentist can immediately replace one tooth, or even an entire arch of teeth that are too damaged to restore. Yet like most things that sound too good to be true, it is not possible in every instance.
Teeth are lost mainly due to decay, periodontal disease and trauma. Placing an implant at the time the tooth is lost gives us a jump on the bone loss and can prevent it. Using 3D imaging techniques, we can see the entire area where we intend to place an implant and know with great accuracy if we can place the implant and how much bone grafting will be required, if any. After the placement, we can use magnetic resonance instruments to assess the stability of that implant to help us decide if we can place a tooth on it that same day. All this amazing technology gives us the knowledge we need to tell our patients what we expect to happen during their appointment. Without it, we’re are guessing. Not a good idea when someone is about to go through the emotional stress of losing a tooth.
Replacing an entire arch of teeth requires even more reliance on digital technology. We can now merge 3D CT scanning with 3D surface scanning and digital smile design to plan the actual surgical process alongside the restorative dentistry and aesthetics. This allows our patients to see with great accuracy what they should expect their teeth to look like after the procedure. The entire process is driven by the patient’s facial form, aesthetic desires and the physical structure of their jaws. No guessing.
However, the teeth placed on these immediate implants are rarely the final restorations. Those are placed in the coming weeks or months after the mouth has had time to heal completely. These provisional restorations placed at the time of surgery look, feel and function nearly the same as the permanent ones. This gives the restoring dentist an opportunity to make any changes that might be desired at that time.
These state-of-the-art procedures need to be done by trained and experienced professionals. They are often done by a team of doctors who do either the surgical or restorative part of the process. They can also be done by a doctor who is trained in both phases of treatment.
These amazing techniques have given patients increased comfort, function, aesthetics and long-term predictability more than ever before.
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