Dental Implants

Dental Implants
Posted on 11/03/2017

Have you heard about “same day” dental implants? Within certain healthy conditions, dental implants are placed and restored temporarily on the same day. However, that dental implant takes time to heal with bone all around it (osseointegration.) Until the bone has grown right up to the implant surface, we cannot put a full load on that tooth. So, as we find in many things in life, the “same day” advertisement does not tell you the whole story. Yes, the temporary implant crown is in place on the day of the surgery. However, the temporary crown needs to be shorter and thinner than what the permanent crown will be. The patient needs to cut all their food into small pieces with a knife and fork and avoid biting into anything with leveraging forces. This means no biting into an apple or sandwich until the healing period is complete. After completion of that 3-6 month healing time, you are able to function on your new implant crown just like a regular tooth. A little waiting and care is vital to long-term success.

If you do not choose “same day” dental implants, then you do not have to worry about eating restrictions. When the implant is going through osseointegration (healing), you only see the top of the healing cap at the gum level. Well, you usually have to use two mirrors to see that area in your own mouth. When replacing a missing back tooth with an implant, a temporary crown or partial is often not needed; this means you can eat normally during the healing phase. After the healing phase, the permanent implant crown is put into place, skipping the whole temporary crown and its additional cost. When an implant is replacing a missing front top tooth, a temporary crown is used to help the tissue grow around the implant. This gives us the beautiful pink papilla between those teeth and the most natural looking implant crown. Most people can’t even pick out which tooth is the implant!

Dr. Steckelberg was in the first dental class at the University of Nebraska Medical Center – College of Dentistry to receive hands-on training restoring dental implants. As a senior dental student, she even took an elective dental literature class with the graduate students to learn more about dental implants. The science of dental implants has continued to evolve and improve since her initial training. Thanks to milling technology, we now use custom abutments to affix the dental crown to the implant. The implant may be digitally scanned or a traditional impression can be taken to allow the lab to fabricate your implant crown. As a result of her continuing education courses, Dr. Steckelberg uses a screw-retained implant crown, instead of cementing the implant crown, whenever possible. This significantly lessens the risk of complications with the implant over time. Our implant crowns are followed up with clinical examination and annual xrays to closely monitor your dental implant’s health. While it is rare to develop complications with dental implants, regular dental examinations, annual implant checkups and xrays, and regular dental cleanings allow us to provide the best care for both you and your dental implant.

Are you interested in discussing dental implants? Call Steckelberg Dental and set up an appointment with Dr. Melanie Steckelberg. We restore dental implants and work with your dental implant surgeon to restore your smile.

~Dr. Melanie Steckelberg