A dental implant is a titanium cylinder that simulates a tooth root and is placed into your jaw to hold a replacement tooth or bridge. Like tooth roots, dental implants are secured in the jawbone and are not visible once surgically placed. They are made of titanium, which is lightweight, strong and biocompatible, which means that it is not rejected by the body. Titanium and titanium alloys are the most widely used metals in both dental and other bone implants, such as orthopedic joint replacements. Dental implants have the highest success rate of any implanted surgical device.
Dental implants may be an option for people who have lost a tooth or teeth due to infection, injury, periodontal disease or some other reason. Each implant holds one or more prosthetic teeth. This type of implant is generally used as an alternative for patients with bridges or removable dentures.
DENTAL IMPLANTS USING 3-D IMAGING
Dr. vanHofwegen has been placing implants using a procedure called guided surgical placement. A CT scan provides a 3-D image of the patient jaw which takes all the guess work out of placement.. Three-dimensional data generated by cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) technology offers a ‘surgical view’ or slices of the entire field of view from the front, side and under the patient. The dental CBCT imaging method allows dentists to obtain vital three-dimensional information without exposing patients to high levels of radiation that come from medical CT scans. Cone beam scans assist with determining bone structure, tooth orientation, nerve canals and pathology. The implant placement is planned in a virtual computer setting and a guide is fabricated to allow precise placement of the implant. With no incisions or stitches the recovery time is almost non-existent. This CT scanning technology is the latest technique in implant placement. We were the first in Sioux Falls to embrace this technology.
While many dentists complete the restoration process, (i.e. they place the crown on the implant) the dentists at Pillar Dental have been placing implants and restoring them for a number of years. Most patients do not want to be referred to different offices for their treatment, but would rather have as much as possible done in one place. Since we place the implant ourselves we feel like we have the most control over the final result. Of course there are times when a specialist is needed and we are trained to recognize that.