When a single tooth is missing
There are few cases where one tooth is missing, more commonly due to caries. In these cases dental implants are the treatment of choice. The great advantage of implants in comparison to classical prosthesis lies in the fact that no modification / preparation of adjacent teeth is required.
Generally, the implant placement procedure is relatively well tolerated by the patient. Local anesthesia is preceded, followed by a flap elevation of the gums, drilling to form a bony bed, placing the implant, placing a special healing cap on top of the implant and finally suturing of the gums. The patient is prescribed with antibiotic and pain-relieving treatment at the end of the procedure. Sutures are usually removed after 7-14 days. The process of bone-healing and bone remodelling usually takes 2-3 months. In some cases grafting (collagen membrane and bone graft) is required. In these cases a special screw is placed and the implant is covered under the gums. Healing in these cases usually takes 3-6 months (clinician`s choice) and requires a second intervention to reveal the implant.
After osseointegration procedure, the prosthetic restoration procedure begins, which usually requires 15-20 days. Eventually, the new tooth is either cemented or screwed (with special tools) onto the implant. Finally, it is important to notice that the failure rate of implants in the initial phase of osseointegration is quite low (2-5%) in the general population.
Placing a single implant in the area of a maxillary seond premolar. The area had remained edentulous for about 2 years before the patient came to our practise. In the second picture we can observe the soft tissue healing after 2 weeks from the placement.