Guided Implant

Dental Implants in Easley, SC - Dental Associates of Easley 

Dental Implants:

If you are missing one tooth or several teeth, you have a few options for replacement.  These options include dental implants, a fixed bridge, a removable partial, or a denture if all teeth are missing.  Today we are going to talk about Dental Implants and how we place them at Dental Associates of Easley.

What are dental Implants?

Dental implants replace the root of a tooth that is no longer present.  They create strong foundation for a fixed or removable tooth.  There are many reasons Dr. Edwards may suggest for you to get an implant, you could be missing a tooth or need something to help anchor a denture.

Replacing one tooth?

When only one tooth is being replaced, Dr. Edwards will place one implant in the area where the tooth is missing, and then restore it with an all porcelain crown.  This is a great way to fix an area that is missing a tooth without affecting the surrounding teeth. 

Replacing multiple teeth?

Sometimes people come in with dentures that just don't fit their mouth at all.  The reason why can vary from patient to patient, but usually they carry them in their pocket more than they are actually wearing them.  For this procedure Dr. Edwards would place 2-4 implants per.  These implants would support the denture, allowing the denture to ‘click’ on and off.  This helps with more stability and reduces the ‘rocking’ of the denture during mastication (chewing).

How do you place an Implant?

The process Dr. Edwards uses is called "Guided Implant Surgery".  This surgery is quick, predictable, and has less healing time than other processes.  First, getting your implant placed usually only takes about 10-15 minutes.  This makes the process a lot less stressful for a nervous patient.  Second, the guided surgery is predictable because the entire surgery is planned three dimensionally. The 3-D CT scan and guided surgery provide precision placement of the implant for proper angulation and for easier recovery.  Lastly, quick healing time is achieved by performing a "tissue punch".  Using this method to make a small hole in the tissue is far less evasive than other techniques that are commonly used.  Doctors not using a 3-D cone beam/CT scan are forced to peel the tissue from the bone to verify proper placement.

The process:

Below is the process that we go through at DAOE to prepare for, and place, your implant.  Dr. Edwards tailors each implant placement specifically for the individual’s needs.  So, the process may vary slightly for each person.

First, we will take a cone beam/3-D CT scan of the entire dentition to evaluate if there is adequate bone for surgery. From there we have two options:

                -If there is adequate bone, we then take an impression for a surgical guide to be fabricated. 

                -If there is not adequate bone, we must complete a bone graft that will need 4-6 months to heal.  After healing is complete,                         another CT scan will be needed with and impression for fabrication of the guide (Figure 1).

Fabrication of the guide will take about 2 weeks to get back from the lab.  This guide will direct the implant drill completely to place a perfectly angled implant (Figure 2).

Once the guide is received, we are ready for surgery. 

The day of surgery, we will start by giving local anesthesia. In most cases, we can use less local anesthesia than for a normal extraction. 

After local anesthesia, the guide is then placed in the mouth and checked for proper fit. Through the guide, tissue punch is done to remove tissue covering the bone, and the drills are then guided into proper placement for the implant (Figure 2).

After drilling is complete, the implant is placed into the bone through the guide. The guide is then removed and a radiograph is taken to verify proper placement. 

The implant process is completed with a healing abutment. This is a cap that covers the implant during the healing process.

The patient now has to heal for 4-6 months to ensure that the bone has fully integrated to the implant.

Once Dr. Edwards is ready to move forward with restoring the implant, the patient will return for optical images on our Cerec machine for 

the permanent crown to be fabricated. The patient will then leave with the crown intact and a beautiful smile!

Figure 1: This is a surgical guide. 
This patient is having 3 implants place on their lower right side.





Figure 2: This image shows how the Surgical Guide is placed onto the teeth.  Once placed properly, the drill fits perfectly into this guide and Dr. Edwards will begin.









Figure 3: This shows the implant as a whole.  The 3 parts consist of: the crown, abutment, and implant.




Dental Associates of Easley
Phone: 864-859-0111
415 S. Pendleton Street
Easley, SC 29640