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FAQ:  Implants


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Dental Implants Ask The Dentist Edward Leventhal Question:
Implant to replace congenital missing tooth: I was born with a missing tooth (front left side).

I'm finishing my orthodontic treatment and I'll need a mini-implant to fill the gap as soon as my doctor says I'm ready.

How long it takes to get this done. ...Visitor from MD

Answer:
In order for implants to "osteointegrate" correctly (a dental term that means the implant becomes solid in the bone surrounded tightly by bone only) the implant has to be undisturbed in the bone for 4-6 months.

Any slight movement causes fibrous tissue to form, and the strength and holding power of the implant depends on the bone/fibrous tissue ratio with more bone yielding a stronger implant.

Normally we like to bury a two stage implant below the tissue so it can heal undisturbed and be anchored with the greatest percentage of bone. After osteointegration. the surface tissue is trimmed to allow us to screw a post into the top of the implant. This post (and abutment surface) provides a place to cement the crown so the replacement looks like a normal tooth.

Sometimes we place an implant with an attached top and place a temporary crown to give improved esthetics from the time of implant placement. I have had this type of implant work well with most patients, but with one patient it had to be replaced within 10 months because it got loose. A radiograph of the area to determine the diameter necessary for the implant and if the teeth are positioned correctly for implant placement.

I have seen patients who were given the go-ahead by the orthodontist yet a cuspid root was blocking the lateral space or the space allowed for the lateral did not exactly equal the space for the opposite lateral which if restored that way would have yielded one lateral wider than the other.

Edward Leventhal, DDS
Baltimore Cosmetic Implant Dentistry
8860 Belair Road
Baltimore, MD 21236
(410) 256-7300

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