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Dental and Craniofacial

Dental implants are really changing the way people live and function today. A Swedish scientist and orthopaedic surgeon, Dr. Per-Ingvar Branemark, developed the concept of osseointegration for oral rehabilitation more than 35 years ago. With his pioneering research, Dr. Branemark opened the door to a lifetime of renewed comfort and self-confidence for millions of individuals facing the embarrassment and frustration of early edentulism (tooth loss).

What are dental implants?

A dental implant is a titanium or titanium alloy screw that is surgically placed into jaw bone where teeth are missing or being extracted. These screws act as tooth root substitutes. Implants may substitute single crowns, act as anchors for multi-unit bridges, or carry complicated craniofacial prostheses as part of facial reconstruction.

The Surgical Procedure:

For most patients, the treatment with dental implants involves a staged treatment plan. First, implants are placed in the jawbone, and allowed to bond with the surrounding bone (osseointegrate). During this period, you will be able to wear temporary dentures. When the implant has bonded with the bone, the second phase begins. The implants will be uncovered to make space for the placement of small posts that protrude through the gums and which will act as anchors for the artificial teeth. The entire procedure typically take four to six months. Most patients experience minimal disruption in their daily life.

Surgical Advances

Using the most recent advances in dental implant technology, Dr Kloppers is able to place single stage implants. These implants do not require a second procedure to uncover them, but do still require future placement of final restorative prostheses. During the healing phase the patient will receive a temporary prosthesis on the implant. There are even situations where implants can be placed at the same time as a tooth extraction – further minimizing the number of surgical procedures.

Placement of dental implants is a team effort between a maxillofacial and oral surgeon and a restorative dentist or prosthodontist.

What Types Of Prosthesis Are Available?

A single prosthesis (crown) is used to replace one missing tooth – each prosthetic tooth attaches to its own implant. A partial prosthesis (fixed bridge) can replace two or more teeth and may require only two or three implants. A complete dental prosthesis (fixed bridge) replaces all the teeth in your upper or lower jaw. The number of implants vary depending upon which type of complete prosthesis (removable or fixed) is recommended. A removable prosthesis (over denture) attaches to a bar or ball in socket attachments, whereas a fixed prosthesis is permanent and removable only by the dentist.

Dr. Kloppers performs in-office implant surgery in a hospital-style operating suite, thus optimizing the level of sterility. Inpatient hospital implant surgery is for patients who have special medical or anaesthetic needs or for those who need extensive bone grafting from the jaw or hip.

Why Select Dental Implants Over More Traditional Types Of Restorations?

There are several reasons: Why sacrifice the structure of surrounding good teeth to bridge a space? In addition, removing a denture or a “partial” at night may be inconvenient, not to mention that dentures that slip can be uncomfortable and rather embarrassing.

Are You A Candidate For Implants?

If you are considering implants, your mouth must be examined thoroughly and your medical and dental history reviewed. If your mouth is not ideal for implants, ways of improving outcome, such as bone grafting, may be recommended.

What Type Of Anaesthesia Is Used?

The majority of dental implants and bone graft can be performed in the office under local anaesthesia, with or without general anaesthesia.

Do Implants Need Special Care?

Once the implants are in place, they will serve you well for many years if you take care of them and keep your mouth healthy. This means taking the time for good oral hygiene (brushing and flossing) and keeping regular appointments with your dental specialists.