While dental implants have been around for decades, recent advances in technology and treatment protocols have made treatment more convenient, more effective, and more affordable — making implants a treatment of choice for missing teeth.
NEW IMPLANT TECHNOLOGIES
Over the past decade, dental implant manufacturers have made major advances in the design and effectiveness of dental implants. New and advanced coating technologies help implants better integrate with the surrounding bone for greater stability and long-term endurance. New shape and thread designs help implants to be more easily inserted, and become more stable upon placement. And new component designs allow greater flexibility in implant placement to maximize use of existing bone.
NEW 3D CAT SCANNING TECHNOLOGY
For decades, 2 dimensional x-rays have been the standard imaging used by dental professionals for diagnosis and treatment planning for dental cases.
In the last few years, new 3D CAT Scanning technology has been developed for use in dental applications, providing dentists an entirely new level of information that is extremely valuable in treatment planning complex dental cases, particularly those involving implants. The 3D CAT Scan provides detailed data such as the density of bone that can be used to computer-model implant treatment before it is performed. This results in greater precision in both the placement of the implants to avoid nerves and sinuses and the development and placement of the new teeth.
3D CAT Scanners cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and are not always found in conventional dental offices. However, Gendler Dental Center recognize the extreme value of a 3D CAT Scan and has a machine since 2012.
NEW TREATMENT PROTOCOLS
Traditionally, dental implants have been placed using what is called a “two-stage” treatment approach. In this approach, implants are typically placed by an oral surgeon, and then covered and left for up to six months to allow the bone to grow around the implant for stability (stage one). The process may even take longer if bone grafting is required prior to implant placement. Once the implant is stable, the surgeon uncovers the implant, places a healing abutment on top of the implant, and sends the patient off to a restorative dentist to begin the process of manufacturing and placing the new teeth (stage two). This could take another several months to complete, given that fittings and lab work are required.
Today, modern implant design and the use of 3D CAT Scans allow experienced dental professionals to insert the implants, and immediately place the new teeth on the implants. Research has shown that when properly applied, this one-stage approach results in as good or better implant success rates as the traditional two-stage approach.
The benefits of Immediate Function are:
- Shortened treatment time (it is possible to go from tooth loss to having functional and aesthetic teeth in one treatment session),
- Better clinical efficiency,
- Greater patient comfort,
- The elimination of bone grafts and sinus lifts, and
- Patients always leave with teeth!