More Smiles Dental Spa Dentistry Blog | James A. Moreau, Jr., D.D.S.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Immediate Load Dental Implants

Dr. Israel Finger, a renowned prosthodontist who was head of the prosthodontics department at LSU Dental School prior to joining our practice in 2005, shares the progression of this implant case to help people better understand how dental implants can make a difference in patients' lives.

Dental implants are a very effective solution for replacing missing teeth. A single implant can support a single tooth or two or more implants can be used to support a bridge or even a full set of dentures. The titanium implants are placed into the jaw, and the bone fills in around the implant and tightens it into place. A prosthesis can then be attached to the implant to hold the teeth securely and mimic natural teeth. Many patients have found this to be more comfortable and more predictable than wearing partials and dentures, and they can provide a more solid chewing surface than single crowns or conventional bridges.

Where a "healing period" of several months is normally required before a prosthesis can be placed onto an implant, it is now possible to provide our patients with "immediate load" implants that allow a provisional tooth replacement on the same day the implant is placed in the bone. This avoids the patient having to live for several months with a missing tooth, or having to wear a partial in the interim. After the implant has fully osseointegrated with the bone, a permanent prosthesis replaces the provisional.

This is a case (above) where a patient had previously begun full-mouth reconstruction in another office. The front 6 teeth had been restored and all other teeth had been started for restoration but were still in temporary crowns which had not held up, resulting in rampant decay. Upon evaluation, Dr. Finger determined that only the six upper teeth could be saved; all others were unrestorable and would have to be removed. Implants were offered as a permanent solution to rebuild the patient's bite with stable prosthetics. Comparing the two photos, you can see how the prostheses were used to rebuild the patient's bite, adding height to the eduntulous ridge. The lower denture is fixed into the patient's jaw bone with several implants so it will function like natural teeth.

posted by MoreSmiles at 10:23 AM


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