1. Consultation. The first step is a comprehensive consultation with Dr. Steven Koos D.D.S., M.D., to determine whether or not you are a candidate for implant treatment. This involves a 3D CT scan and may include taking impressions for models of your teeth so that your doctor can develop the ideal treatment plan for your particular situation. If you are missing all of your teeth, you may be scheduled for a consultation with both Dr. Koos as well as one of our restorative cosmetic dentists.
During a complete examination of your mouth, Dr. Koos will be evaluating the area(s) of your mouth where teeth are missing, including the amount of bone available to support the placement of implants, as well as the quality and density of the bone. He will also be evaluating whether additional procedures may be needed to obtain the desired functional and esthetic result. If you have already lost a significant amount of bone, Dr. Koos will also be evaluating the possibility of procedures to add (graft) bone, or create new bone.
Dr. Koos will also determine whether you are a candidate for Immediate Function procedures. Although this type of treatment allows you to have your replacement teeth much quicker, many patients are not good candidates. Recent advances in technology have resulted in a relatively short treatment time for traditional implant procedures.
2. Traditional Implant Placement Procedure. The implants are placed in the bone using a gentle surgical technique. usually with comfortable sedation for the ultimate in patient experience. Following the implant placement procedure, the implants are left undisturbed for a period of several weeks so that the bone can grow around the implants to form a strong biological bond to them. During this bone remodeling phase, you may have temporary replacement teeth so that you never have to be without teeth during treatment.
3. Abutment Attachment Procedure. Following the appropriate bone remodeling period, a small connector post called an abutment is attached to each implant by a restorative dentist. The permanent replacement teeth will eventually be attached to the abutments by your cosmetic dentist as well.
4. Fabrication of Replacement Teeth. Impressions will be taken of your teeth and the implant abutments; the appropriate shade for your replacement teeth will be selected and then, along with your bite registrations, a professional dental implant laboratory technician will fabricate your replacement teeth and the underlying structures that will be attached to the implants. This process can take one to two weeks depending up on the number of missing teeth and the type of replacement teeth.
Immediate Function Procedure: For patients who are candidates for Immediate Function procedures, the 3D CT scan is used with virtual planning software to plan the implant placement and the design of the replacement teeth. This is done after the initial consultation and before the appointment for the implant placement procedure. Immediate Function procedures can be used for the replacement of one tooth, a few teeth, or a full set of teeth. The replacement temporary teeth are usually placed immediately following implant placement – all in one appointment.
All-on-4 Procedure: This unique Immediate Function procedure, also sometimes referred to as “Teeth-in-a-Day”, is very appealing to people who have dentures. After the initial consultation and 3D imagining and planning, patients who qualify for this procedure can replace either an upper or lower denture with just four implants and a full set of replacement teeth in one appointment. This is usually accomplished without the need for any bone grafting.