During the examination process, Dr. Feuerman or Dr. Castellucci will evaluate the overall condition of the mouth. Information is gathered regarding the health of the gums, density and amount of underlying bone, position of the remaining teeth, and the bite. Routine x-rays will be necessary to help visualize the teeth and jawbone. In many cases, a more sophisticated 3D CAT SCAN will be required to precisely determine bone contours and the position of vital anatomical structures. Impressions may be taken to make models of the teeth and gums, which add to the careful analysis process. The doctors will also evaluate whether additional procedures may be needed to achieve the best functional and esthetic result. If you have already lost a significant amount of bone and gum, grafts may be needed to increase support for the implant teeth.
Once all of the information is recorded and analyzed, the doctor will formulate a treatment plan which outlines the type of dental implant restoration that best suits your needs. Some examples of "fixed" and "removable" treatment options can be seen below.
Dr. Feuerman or Dr. Castellucci will also determine whether you are a candidate for Immediate Function procedures. This type of treatment allows you to have temporary teeth placed at the same time as the dental implants, all in one day. Oftentimes, it is done at the same time as removal of natural teeth. However, some patients are not good candidates for this procedure. In these situations, a traditional implant treatment sequence will be followed.
Using regular dental anesthetic, the dental implant is placed into the jawbone using a precise and gentle surgical technique. Most patients experience no major discomfort after the procedure.
The dental implant fixture will be left undisturbed in the jawbone for a period of several weeks. The bone forms a strong bond to the implant and osseointegration takes place. During this time, you will have temporary replacement teeth so that you never have to be without teeth during treatment.
Once osseointegration of the implant is complete and the dental implant is firmly anchored in the bone and gums, a small connector post called an "abutment" is attached to the implant. This abutment passes through the gum and will support the new tooth.
Your dentist will take an impression of the implant or abutment and will work with the lab technician to make the new replacement tooth. This process can take a few weeks depending upon the number of missing teeth and the type of restoration. Your dentist will attach the final tooth or teeth and your chewing ability and beautiful smile will be restored!
Immediate Function procedures can be used for the replacement of one tooth, a few teeth, or a full set of teeth. The temporary replacement teeth are usually placed immediately following implant placement - all in one appointment on the same day. The final teeth are placed a few months later. With this procedure, patients never have to go without teeth or use a temporary removable denture.
This unique Immediate Function procedure is very appealing to people who have dentures or must lose all of their remaining teeth. After the initial examination and consultation, patients who qualify for this procedure can replace an upper or lower denture with just four implants and receive a full set of replacement teeth in one appointment. More about the All-on-4 procedure.