Implant Placement and Your General Dentist

My patients often ask me if I do implants and my answer is yes and no.  Yes, some general dentists do the initial placement of an implant, but this is most commonly done by a specialist. However, your general dentist does coordinate the sequence of events and the outcome.

In many cases, an oral surgeon or a periodontist (gum and bone specialist) places the implant in the bone after studying and coordinating your situation carefully. This planning often uses special x-rays to observe your future implant area from many different angles.

Sometimes, additional procedures are needed at the time of implant and most patients find all of these procedures easy and uneventful.

After several months, your general dentist is ready to finalize replacing the crown of the tooth to get a functioning, long lasting and natural looking result.

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Wait! Don’t Cut My Perfect, Natural Teeth!

When I was young, I lost a permanent back (molar) tooth and eventually had it replaced with a bridge that involved crowning each tooth on either side of the space. I always felt sad that two perfect teeth had to be cut to make those crowns.

Today, placing an implant is considered a better approach to that dilemma and often the treatment of choice. The procedure has a high success rate and implants can replace a single tooth or even several teeth in a row.

An implant is basically a titanium root form that replaces the root lost when a tooth is pulled. If you are a good candidate for an implant, there is usually a 3 to 6 month wait while the bone adheres to the implant and then a crown or bridge can be placed – all without touching any natural teeth.