Hi folks! Dr Shervin from Artistic Dental Studio with another exciting blog!
I am very happy I have a chance to talk to you about dental implant treatment. I am going to do this in the next 4 blogs. I have divided this into four different phases and the title of all these blogs will be “Dental implant in simple language”, so you can easily understand what it entails.
The four phases actually consist of:
- Pre-treatment phase
- Surgical phase
- Restorative phase
- Maintenance phase
I have divided these into four categories, so I can cover the essential points that everyone needs to know before embarking on such treatment. So, let’s jump in!
At pre-treatment phase, you obviously need to have a consultation with your implant dentist. Implant treatment is a multidisciplinary treatment. What I mean by that is that the treatment is normally done by collaboration between surgeon and restorative dentist. A treatment plan is determined after all data is gathered and discussed with patient, which actually constitutes this pre-treatment phase. Both surgeon and restorative dentist need to come to a conclusion on what the best solution would be for any individual case. Sometimes the clinician takes care of both surgical and restorative phases, and no third parties are involved. No matter how many people are involved in pre-treatment phase, (we call it diagnostic phase as well), it is divided into two or three separate appointments:
- Appointment number one is when your dentist tries to get as much information as possible which normally consists of having a chat about your chief complaint and also your goals, doing a thorough examination, taking photos and X rays. They also need to have some scans from your jaw because scans or cone beam CT scans or CBCTs as we call them, actually show the thickness and topography of the bone in the area planned for implant treatment. Scan Scripts will be given to you on the first session. The next thing they would need are some models from the teeth. They either take impressions or intraoral scans in case everything is being done digitally. Your models will be used to make a prototype of your future teeth either virtually or out of wax, to show you on second session.
- On the second consultation, dentist needs to have a chat with you about possible options, and the options could vary between individuals depending on the amount of bone in the area, the number of teeth being replaced, your systemic condition, the quality of bone and many other factors. So, implant treatment is not something like “one size fits all”. There are many different modalities, many different variations and once the best combination is found by dentist, then they will let you know about pros and cons, risks and limitations for any given situation. Moreover, in any tooth loss situation there could be other options as well, like fixed dental bridges or dentures. You need to weigh your options, have a comprehensive chat about all ins and outs of each option, so you can reach an informed decision to whether you want to go for implant treatment or not. The prototype made in between the first and second sessions could come handy at this point. Normally on second consultation, the patient and dentist come to an agreement on what needs to be done. After that, a booking is made for implant insertion session or the second phase or surgical one.
- In some cases, specially like full mouth rehabilitation cases or possibly aesthetically challenging cases, I mean, some more complicated cases, there may be a need for a third consultation as well.
Another thing that could be done between the first and second consultation could be a virtual smile simulation or DSD (digital smile design), which will help you visualize the final outcome before starting the treatment.
So, with the whole thing in place, you can get a good idea how much it would cost, how long it would take, what steps you need to follow, and so on and so forth. And, what you need to do after the treatment, which is an important part. The aim of the first phase of implant treatment which is the diagnostics as I said, is to match the patient expectations with what we could reasonably achieve.
Alright guys, I hope this blog could help you with the first phase and on the next blog, I will have a chat with you about second or surgical phase.
Thank you very much and have a good day!