The great advantage of using dental implant – as opposed to conventional crown and bridgework over natural teeth—is the number of ways that dental implants can be used to replace missing teeth. They can be used to replace missing front teeth with very predictable cosmetic results, to replace a number of teeth with single crowns and bridges, or replace both the upper and lower teeth.
Many times the patients can receive their teeth the same day as the implants are placed. In regards to single teeth in the esthetic zone – the front teeth, I will frequently remove the non-restorable tooth, place the dental implant immediately, and have the patient seen by the dentist that day. The dentist will place a very natural-looking temporary crown on the implant so the patient has a new tooth the same day. At the appropriate time, the patient returns to the dentist’s office and the final restoration is placed.
In other cases where we are replacing all of the upper or lower teeth, we can place four to six implants in the jaw and have what we can an “immediate fixed hybrid restoration” placed immediately after the implants are placed. An immediate fixed hybrid restoration is a temporary restoration that is secured to the implants. It is actually screwed into the implant and supported by the implant at the time of surgery.
The advantage to the patient is that they may come to the office with conventional dentures and few if any natural teeth remaining in an arch. They leave the office with four to six permanent dental implants and an immediate restoration, which is a securely affixed denture.
We like to evaluate the patient’s smile, bite and speech so we can make any minor changes to the temporary restoration. Typically the patient will wear the temporary fixed hybrid restoration for approximately six months to a year before they receive their final restoration.
Dr. Leonard Spector