According to dental researchers, advanced research and superior technology will bring radical changes in the dental care industry during the 21st century.
Dental implant is the most notable among these changes. Thirty years ago they were considered "quackery". Now they are the "gold standard" for replacing one or a full mouth of missing teeth.
Most dentists agree that dental implant appears as a great example of advanced dental care technology. A dental implant is an artificial tooth root that replaces a patient's missing natural tooth root. It constitutes an ideal treatment option for those who have lost one or more teeth in the upper and or lower jaw due to accident, gum disease or some another traumatic experience. Whether missing only one or two teeth or all of your teeth, this ace dental technique has become the standard for teeth replacement. New technologies, new implant designs, and new procedures have consistently made the use of implant quicker, easier, more reliable, and more affordable.
Dentures have been in use for more that 30 years. However, dental implants long ago surpassed dentures in providing a reliable treatment option for those who are missing all of their teeth. Fixed and removable bridges were once the standard of care for one or a few missing teeth. However, it is not the standard anymore. Now, single unit implants are used to replace one or a few missing teeth. This procedure is done without causing damage to the remaining teeth. This minimizes the need for further corrective dentistry along with the future cost and discomfort associated with it.
There are two basic approaches for placing and reconstructing dental implants. One is called immediate load and the other delayed load. With the immediate load technique, a tooth or teeth are built on one or more dental implants, on the same day when the implant is placed. The All on 4 technique is an example of immediate loading. Remaining bad teeth are removed, implants are place and the patient leaves that day with a new set of natural looking and functioning non-removable teeth. Delayed loading is commonly used when only one or two teeth require replacement. Because of bio-engineering concepts related to force and stress vectors it is often best to let single implants integrate for 4 to 6 months before they are loaded. A common exception to this single tooth delayed protocol is when a front tooth is lost by accident. In those cases, whenever possible, the remaining root is carefully removed, the implant is placed, and a temporary crown is secured to the implant all in one appointment. It is essential that this temporary crown not make contact with the other teeth when chewing but if that can be accomplished this technique can be used with excellent success and the patient leaves with an attractive smile. This is appropriate for front teeth were as it might not be for back teeth for two reasons:
1. When we close together the front teeth do not touch one another so there is less pressure against front implant than back implant.
2. The accidental loss of a front tooth results in a sudden and dramatic change to our appearance thus justifying the slightly increased risk [approximately 5%] associated with immediate implant placement and loading
So, if you need a dental implant to replace a natural tooth either delayed or immediate loading will be options. An experienced Houston Dental surgeon will be able to discuss the pros and cons of each method with you so you can make an informed decision.