Initial Consultation. The first step is an examination and consultation with your dentist to determine whether or not you are a candidate for implant treatment. This usually involves x-rays and may include taking impressions for models of your teeth. During the examination, your dentist will be evaluating the area(s) of your mouth where teeth are missing and the type of replacement teeth that will best meet your needs. A review of your health history will indicate whether there are any medical conditions that could prevent you from being a candidate for implant treatment.
Surgical Evaluation. Following the initial consultation, you will be referred to either Dr. Hosters for a comprehensive surgical evaluation. This will typically be for the purpose of further evaluating the quality and quantity of available bone to determine the number of implants necessary, as well as whether additional procedures may be needed to obtain the desired functional and esthetic result. If you have already lost a significant amount of bone, the need for procedures to add (graft) bone, or create new bone will also be evaluated. Additional x-rays taken at another facility that specializes in 3D imaging might also be recommended.
Once the surgical evaluation has been completed, a treatment plan will be developed with your general dentist to meet your individual functional and esthetic needs.
Implant Placement Procedure. The implants are placed in the bone using a gentle surgical technique. With the type of implant used by Dr. Hosters, in many cases, it will not be necessary to place the implant completely under the gum tissue, which eliminates a second surgical procedure.
Following the implant placement procedure, the implants are left undisturbed for a period of several weeks so that the bone can remodel around the implants to form a strong biological bond to them. During this bone-remodeling phase, you will have some type of temporary replacement teeth, so that you never have to be without teeth during treatment.
Abutment Attachment Procedure. Following the appropriate bone-remodeling period, a small connector post called an abutment is attached to each implant. The permanent replacement teeth will eventually be attached to the abutments.
Fabrication of Replacement Teeth. Your dentist will then take impressions of your teeth and the implant abutments; place temporary replacement teeth and select the appropriate shade for your replacement teeth. The laboratory technician will fabricate your replacement teeth and the underlying structures that will be attached to the implants. Then your dentist will try the replacement teeth for proper fit and attach them to the abutment.
Surgical Tooth Removal
Tooth loss can be a traumatic experience. Fortunately, if you do lose a tooth it can be replaced with an implant supported replacement tooth that will look, feel and function like your natural tooth. The dental implant functions like a natural tooth root and preserves the bone, preventing the deterioration of bone that would normally occur with tooth loss.
If you are facing impending tooth loss, Dr. Hosters is able to surgically remove the tooth using a special technique that minimizes discomfort and promotes rapid healing. This technique also preserves as much of the bone surrounding the tooth as possible, which is important for implant placement.
Sometimes a dental implant can be placed at the time the tooth is removed. However, when this is not possible, a graft using bone from another area of the mouth, or synthetic bone, can be placed to preserve the tooth socket for future implant placement. This graft will also facilitate healing and preserve a significant amount of the gum tissue that would normally shrink during healing if the socket was allowed to collapse.