Implants definitely are becoming a larger part of my practice. Several factors are driving the demand for implants. And some factors are important to consider.
In some cases, a bone substitute implant is necessary before the implant screw is put in place. That way, there’s a stronger base for the new tooth. Whether bone implant is or isn’t necessary, I don’t recommend having an implant and post put in the same day.
A solid foundation is essential—Bone must grow and integrate with the implant screw, in order for the implant to be stable. I prefer to place the screw and stitch gum over it. Reason: It takes 4 to 5 months for bone to integrate with the implant (sometimes longer for upper implants). Then, I put in the post and cement the temporary crown to the post.
In the meantime, a permanent crown is created in the lab. After the screw is integrated into the bone, and the foundation for the post and crown is strong, I place the permanent crown.
Sometimes, patients come in for implants, but they don’t have sufficient supporting bone. In that case, I can do another type of implant known as a “mini-implant” procedure. This may be particularly helpful to patients who have ill-fitting dentures.