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Pictorial Step by Step Guide to Multiple Tooth Replacement Using Implants

Dental implant treatment involves several steps.

The first step is to insert the dental implant into the jawbone. Following insertion, the implants are left for 2 to 6 months whilst osseointegration takes place. Osseointegration is the process whereby the jawbone grows around and integrates with the implant.

The second step involves the placement of the crowns or bridges on the implants. This is carried out by a Restorative Dentist once osseointegration has taken place.

Sometimes for some patients, a preliminary step of augmentation is required to increase the amount of jawbone to permit implant placement. Augmentation uses artificial bone (Bio-oss) or less commonly the patients own bone taken from the opposite jaw or hipbone.

Below are a series of images and descriptions to show you the process and to give you a better understanding of the use of implants in multiple tooth replacement.

Model showing a gap in top jaw.1 Model showing a gap in the top jaw (maxilla) with three missing teeth.

Image of model showing position of implants.2 Implants are inserted into the jaw bone at appropriate positions. Two implants have been inserted here. This model shows the underlying bone and root structure of the teeth that are present. Notice how the implants mimic the roots in position, length and shape. Implants are available in different lengths. Also on this model have been placed the healing abutments. These can be seen protruding above the gum layer.

Healing abutments visible through gum.3a Healing abutments are visible through the gum. They are fixed into the implants at the time of implant surgery. They remain protruding from the gum for up to 6 months. There job is to stop the gum growing over the top of the implants.

Side view of healing abutments.3b Side view of healing abutments to show how much they can protrude above the gum level. It is worth noting that they can sometimes loosen and they should be relocated as soon as possible if they fall out.
If you posses a denture, this can sometimes be modified to fit over and around the healing abutments. However, this is not always possible.

Healing abutments.3c Healing abutments are made in various lengths. These are screwed into the top of the implant (notice the screw thread) so the gum can heal around them. These are temporary and are removed before the crowns or bridge are fixed in place

A three tooth bridge fitted to dental implants.4 This model shows the three tooth bridge fitted to two dental implants. Fitting the crown and/or bridge requires several visits to the restorative specialist. During these visits, the restorative specialist will remove and replace the healing abutments to gain access to the implants. Once fitted, the crown/s or bridge will be fixed into place and are not removable by the patient.

Model showing completed implant and a three tooth bridge with gum removed.5 Model showing completed implants and a three tooth bridge with the gum removed. Caring for your restoration is a simple matter of treating it the same as your own teeth. This will be discussed with you by your restorative specialist.

We hope that this brief step by step guide has been of some help to you. If you should require any further advice or help then please make arrangements to talk it over with Mr Smith. His contact details can be found by clicking here.