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Ask Dr. Schultz About Dental Implants

Intro to Dental Implants   Dental Implants 101  Dental Implants vs Dentures  Single Missing Tooth

Multiple Missing Teeth  Implant Supported Dentures  Are Dental Implants right for me?  Ask Dr. Schultz About Implants  FAQs

Question: What are your thoughts on Immediate Load implants?
Dr. Schultz: "True immediate load implants that are splinted together rigidly (4 or more)are successful but the cases must be carefully planned and executed. Currently immediately loaded implants in the back of the mouth are not recommended. Immediately provisionalized (with a temporary crown) are successful too in particular cases. This determination is made on a case by case basis."

Question: What kind of long-term results do you see?
Dr. Schultz: "We have seen good long term results (success) over the past 20+ years in the 95% to 98% range with dental implants."

Question: What are the main advantages to implants over dentures or bridges?
Dr. Schultz: "Implants can assist a denture to achieve higher chewing forces and to reduce or eliminate motion of the denture in the mouth. When an implant is placed in the space where normally a bridge would span a missing tooth, it can begin to take on some of the bite forces of the mouth (like having the missing tooth back). By not pursuing the bridge option, a patient can avoid having to have the dentist “cut down” the abutment teeth in order to accept the crowns associated with the bridge."

Question: What kind of discomfort is involved with the surgery?
Dr. Schultz: "There is usually only minor discomfort associated with implant placement."

Question: How long have you been placing implants?
Dr. Schultz: "I have been placing implants for over 20 years. I also have published on the subject in peer reviewed journals."

Question: Explain the significance of 3D imaging in relation to placing implants and the benefit to the patient?
Dr. Schultz: "3D imaging (cone beam CT or CBCT) of the area to be implanted is necessary in order to see important anatomic structures and associated boundaries more clearly. It can tie in with computer planning of the implants and their placement using drill guides (stents). This type of planning makes the procedure safer, more accurate and usually faster for the patient. We have in office both a CBCT and implant planning software."

Question: Are there any medical contraindications to dental implants?
Dr. Schultz: "Some of the obvious reasons not to have a dental implant would be psychological and/or any physical status that would be contraindicated by the patient’s physician (e.g. anticoagulant therapy that can’t be interrupted)."

Question: What does the implant process involve?
Dr. Schultz: "Getting a dental implant involves 2D and 3D x-rays, planning, local anesthesia, reflecting the gum in the area (usually), drilling into the bone with slow speed and chilled sterile water, placement of the implant (it is usually screwed in), the gum repositioned and sutured and eventually the implant is restored by the patient’s dentist."

Question: What can patients expect if they choose not to get dental implant surgery?
Dr. Schultz: "The outcome of not pursuing a dental implant depends on the particular situation. For instance, in a one tooth gap situation the patient can have a bridge placed or to not replace the missing tooth at all. Sometimes in this later scenario there is drifting of adjacent teeth into the space. If left without replacement, there is a diminution in chewing efficiency which becomes more pronounce as the gap expands from further tooth loss.  Depending upon where the teeth have been lost there might an esthetic impact too, which is usually a negative one socially."

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