Annual Advancements in Medicine Section
From 3D-printing technology in dentistry, to robotic arm assistance in orthopedic surgeries, to anesthetic advances and beyond, new research in the medical field makes for easier procedures for patients and doctors alike. These Chattanooga-based medical professionals share the latest in revolutionary treatment options.
By Lindsey June
Immediate dental implants are a time-saving, effective solution to partial or total tooth loss.
Understanding Dental Implants
Tooth loss is more common than you might imagine. Dental decay, cavities, and gum and bone disease or trauma can lead to a partial or total loss of teeth. According to the American College of Prosthodontists, 30% of adults ages 65 to 74 have no natural teeth. Because of this, teeth replacement options are very sought after.
In the past, the only viable solution for patients missing all of their teeth was removable dentures – a less than ideal situation, as dentures tend to lack support and can be very uncomfortable, among other issues.
Thanks to advancements in dentistry, removable dentures are no longer necessary. Same-day immediate dental implants are another, more desirable option for those with partial or total tooth loss. These implants reduce the number of visits needed and shorten the length of placement time. With this procedure, your dental surgeon can affix individual teeth or entire upper or lower dentures using as little as four dental implants.
What to Expect
Before going ahead with the immediate implant procedure, your dental surgeon will 3D scan your mouth to make sure you’re a good candidate. You will then discuss how many are needed and what type of restoration options are available.
On the day of your procedure, your surgeon will extract the natural tooth if it is still present. The immediate implant will then be placed at the same time as the extraction in a fresh socket using the newest implant technology for extreme precision. A healing cap, or temporary crown, is then placed over the implant until everything is fully healed. The process is typically treated under IV sedation.
In the weeks following the procedure, your bone will begin to grow and fuse directly to the implant. The final step is a little different, depending on if you receive partial or full implants, but both involve extensions known as abutments that keep the implants fully secure.
Benefits to Patients
Immediate dental implants are an excellent option for tooth replacement. They reduce the time needed for treatment, reduce the risk of further surgical intervention, simplify workflow, and, best of all, they resemble natural teeth and are highly aesthetically pleasing.