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Dental implants, in Baltimore and throughout the world, have become the standard of care for replacing missing teeth, and for very good reasons. Dental implants are changing the way people live, providing foundations for dental restorations that look, feel and function like healthy, natural teeth. With dental implants, patients can eat most anything, speak, smile and laugh with confidence, and feel secure in the knowledge that they have protection against the changes in oral health, oral function and facial appearance that are common with other teeth replacement options.
Dental implants are tiny titanium posts that are surgically placed into the jawbone in places where teeth have been lost. As the site heals, the dental implant bonds with the bone in much the same way as natural tooth roots – a process called osseointegration. This creates solid, stable artificial tooth roots that will be used to anchor replacement teeth.
At HarborView Surgical Arts, Dr. Bonnie Arroyo uses several common techniques in placing dental implants, depending upon the individual treatment plans of patients. Treatment planning is a collaborative effort between your oral surgeon and a restorative dentist to ensure a smooth and efficient dental restoration process.
Traditional staged implant placement is most common, and is done in two surgical sessions. In the initial session, the implants are placed into the jawbone, the gum tissue is closed over them, and they are left to heal and bond with the jawbone for a period of 2 to 4 months. After that bonding period, the dental implants will be uncovered in a second surgical session, and abutments – small posts designed to hold replacement teeth – will be attached to the implants.
For treatment plans that call for single-stage implants, placement is done in a single surgical session. Single-stage implants are placed with abutments already attached, leaving their posts protruding from the gums during the healing/bonding period, eliminating the need for a second surgical session.
Immediate load dental implants are another fairly common technique used today. These implants allow Dr. Arroyo – in select cases – to place dental implants and a provisional (temporary) denture in a single surgical session. This technique is most frequently used in patients who are being fitted with permanent dentures – a complete arch of replacement teeth anchored by implants – for the treatment of total tooth loss in one jaw or both.
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