Since my college days, (I majored in biomedical engineering), I have been fascinated with the concept of replacing teeth. I spent a great many hours in the engineering research lab trying to figure out how to make the implants available in the early 80s better. In the late 80s and early 90s my primary interest was determining how to make the use of implants more predictable. My current interest in implant dentistry has evolved into fine-tuning the implant placement process. My goals are to maximize the esthetics of the final restoration and minimize any inconvenience to my patients by making the process more efficient. When Im not practicing implant dentistry I share my experiences with fellow dentists, both surgical and restorative, throughout the world. The implants in all the cases presented on this site, including the multimedia program, were all placed by me in the Seacoast area since 1987.
Usually, when you lose a tooth, it is best for your oral health to have it replaced. Missing teeth can affect your "bite" as well as your ability to speak and chew. Their loss can increase the burden on your remaining teeth and can cause muscle pain in your jaws and headaches. And of course, losing a tooth can affect your appearance.
The good news is that, most of the time, replacing a missing tooth is not an emergency. You have time to consider what replacement option is best for you and to make an informed decision.
Usually, the office procedure to place a dental implant takes about an hour for one implant and no more than two or three hours for multiple implants. The placement process consists of the following steps:
After the implant is placed, the area will need to heal for as long as six months. How long your mouth will need to heal will be determined by a variety of factors. Follow-up care (one to four appointments) is usually needed to ensure that your mouth is healing well and to determine when you are ready for the restorative phase of your treatment.
The dental work required to complete your treatment is complex. It is, however, considered more comfortable and more pleasant than conventional dental care. Frequently, most of the work can be done without using even local anesthesia.
Your restorative treatment begins with specialized impressions that allow us to produce a replica of your mouth and implants. We will also make "bite" records so that we see the relationship of your upper and lower jaws. With this information, we will make the abutments (support posts) that attach your replacement teeth to your implants. Various types of abutments exist. Frequently, we can use "off the shelf" abutments. Other times, custom abutments must be made of gold or a tooth-colored ceramic material. As you can imagine, these custom-made abutments add to the cost and treatment time involved. Which abutment to use is a decision that often cannot be made until after healing is complete and impressions have been made.