Types of Dental Implants:
There are two distinct types of dental implants:
1) One-stage implants that are restored during the same appointment as the implant is placed. These are popular because they are generally less expensive than the other style, but they are notably weaker and often times are inadequate for providing the result that is desired, and they frequently have a higher failure rate. With this type of Implant case, it is absolutely mandatory that all extractions and surgery has been done and a complete healing has been accomplished -- we recommend at least 6 months, but better to allow 9 to 12 months after extractions before this style of case is done.
One stage implants are generally referred to as Mini Dental Implants (MDI). MDI implants are ultra-small implants that replace the root of your tooth. MDI implants are minimally invasive and relatively painless to place. These are the ones advertised as "surgery-less" implants, but in actuality they are placed with a minimally invasive surgery. The implants can be placed and the crown or denture is adapted to work with the implants all in one visit. Using Mini implants is not our preferred technique and we would generally only use this style for cases where the patient needs the absolute least expensive procedure or for patients with certain limiting medical conditions, or for cases not requiring maximum longevity.
2) Two stage implants where the implant is surgically placed -- these may be placed during the same surgery when the teeth are removed and the ridges prepared for dentures. After a suitable time (two to six months depending on variables of location and implant loading application) for healing (referred to as osseo-integration), they are then restored for their intended purpose of either a fixed restorative or a removable restorative prosthesis (meaning any replacement tooth or teeth) as in our Implant Retained Over-dentures.
There are several manufacturers of the more conventional two-stage implants. Ankylos Implant System is our preferred Implant System. We also use Nobel-Biocare and Straumann Dental Implant Manufacturers.
We have found that these implants integrate the best with the least complications and lowest failure rate due to the specialized coating of the implant surface that yields the best integration.
Straumann and Nobel Biocare or Stem Implants are a broader-based more conventional implant that replaces the root of your tooth. These implants are placed into the jaw and remain covered to heal for approximately three to six months -- or less in certain cases. Then an additional piece, called an abutment, is placed on the implant and prosthetic teeth are attached to the abutment. These implants may be used for single or multi-tooth crowns and bridges that may be fixed or removable. We use these implants to support removable dentures for patients without teeth. This style implants are most often used in very healthy patients and younger patients who need longevity for their implant.
Surgery, Stage 1
What happens during the first surgery?
After you are given a local anesthetic, your Doctor will surgically uncover the jaw bone and insert the implants into precisely measured insertion points. Very gentle, low speed drilling and extensive irrigation will be used to prepare your bone for the implant placement. Then the titanium implants are positioned and the soft tissue is sutured over the implant site to cover them. Dental implants are designed to bond rigidly with the living bone (osseo-integration) in in approximately three to six months. This procedure generally results in minimal post-surgical discomfort similar to a simple extraction.
Surgery, Stage 2 (3-6 months after Stage 1)
What happens during the second surgery?
The second stage surgery is the more minor surgical procedure. Titanium posts, called abutments, are attached with screws to the bone anchored implants. X-rays are then taken to check the condition of the implants and to confirm the exact seating of the abutment posts.
Usually the old denture will be fitted with a soft liner and placed directly into the second stage posts.
You will be given medications pre-surgically to relax you for these procedures and will not feel any pain during the procedure.
You will be given an ample supply of painkillers to handle any minor post-surgical discomfort for both procedures.