Part Eight: Clinical Case of Dr. Ueli Grunder
As promised, we would like to present you the last part of a step-by-step clinical case of an immediate implant placement:
Over a period a few weeks to several months, the dental implant bonds with the bone (osseointegration). During osseointegration, bone cells form new bone around the implant. This new bone develops a firm anchor for the implant. The bonding of the implant with the bone is a prerequisite for achieving a strong foundation for the artificial crown.
After healing, the implant acquires the same function as that of a natural tooth root. Just like a natural root, implants can prevent bone recession in edentulous jawbone, compared to conventional bridge and prosthetic restorations. This means that dental implants also serve a preventative function.
To restore the crown of the tooth, a structure referred to by specialists as an abutment is placed onto the dental implant. With the aid of this structure, artificial crowns or fixtures for prostheses can be attached to the implant. The adjacent picture (right) shows an implant with an abutment and a crown attached it to compared to a natural tooth (left).
An implant is not just a good solution for older people who, in the course of time, have lost their teeth. Often, younger people are also affected by tooth loss. A collision may happen while playing sports, or an accident may occur that results in the loss of teeth. In some cases, teeth may be missing at birth due to genetic dental aplasias.
In addition, a variety of diseases such as periodontitis and/or caries can result in the loss of teeth at any age. The use of a dental implant will restore a person’s natural smile and the functionality of natural teeth. Of all the alternative options available, a dental implant is the one that most closely approximates the natural tooth. Implants provide a firm foundation for support and positioning of a dental crown. It can also be used as an anchor for fixed bridges and removable partial or complete prostheses. Dental implants can prevent incorrect loads on natural teeth, as well as the degeneration of the jawbone and diseases of the temporomandibular joint.
There are three different types of artificial tooth replacement: the single tooth restoration, the replacement of several teeth and the replacement of all missing teeth.
Treatment with dental implants is always an individual solution. If only one tooth is missing, the implant is inserted exactly in this site. The dental crown is then adapted precisely to the esthetic requirements.
If several teeth are missing, implants can be used as columns for bridges. In this case, it is often not necessary to replace every missing tooth with an implant.
If all teeth need to be replaced, implants are also used as columns to ensure a firm fit for the denture.
In contrast to the fixed denture, the full denture can be removed by the patient. The implants are provided with a retention element (bar, button or similar), on which the prosthesis is held securely. The patient can then remove the denture with little effort for daily cleaning.