Dental implantology is one of the most exciting and rapidly evolving fields of dentistry. Although the concept sounds simple, researchers have searched for many decades for a material which could be placed into the jaw to replace the root of a tooth. Dental implants today are made mostly of titanium and are very effective in providing a means to replace teeth or provide anchorage for dental prosthetics such as dentures. The treatment process for dental implants can be broken into three primary components: treatment planning, surgical placement, and restoration. Dr Lowry provides all of these services and has received continuing education training and certificates through the Engel International Institute of Advanced Dentistry (formerly known as the Ladera Ranch Implant Institute).
The initial planning phase of dental implants is one of the most critical to the overall success of treatment. Each case must be considered individually, but the basic steps of this initial phase include making a study model, taking a cone beam CT x-ray, deciding on the ideal width and length of implant for your case, and determining the possible need for bone grafting or other pre-implant procedures. Your dentist will also create custom surgical guides to help ensure proper placement of the implants during the placement surgery.
Surgical Implant Placement
The surgical placement of a dental implant takes place under local anesthesia, but additional sedation may be recommended as this procedure can be time consuming. Your dentist will use his surgical guides to determine the exact location and angulation for the implant. After retracting the gum tissue, the implant is placed directly into the jawbone using a special handpiece and burs designed specifically for the size of implant you need. Many times, a healing cap will be placed on the implant to allow for complete healing and integration of the implant into the bone for 4-6 months; however in some cases a restoration can be placed immediately. Dr Lowry will review your options for having a temporary appliance made to fill the space while the implant is healing if you desire. Post-operative discomfort is minimal with this procedure and generally lasts from a couple days up to two weeks.
Restoring a dental implant refers to the final step of attaching the crown, bridge, or denture to the dental implant. This procedure is simple and painless, but special attention to detail is very important. As with any other procedure which has to be sent to a laboratory, Dr Lowry will make a mould of your teeth or arches, and work closely with a laboratory technician to ensure an esthetic and functional outcome.