Complete dental rehabilitation of all teeth is not as uncommon. There are many dental as well as medical conditions that will lead to loss of all teeth. To name a few, Poor Oral hygiene, Caries, Gum Disease, Bruxing and Grinding. A complete Rehabilitation will restore all your teeth with optimal function and esthetics. It may be a combination of crowns on natural teeth and implants.
Dental crowns are permanent covers that fit over an original tooth that is decayed, damaged or cracked. Crowns are generally made of porcelain, gold and other metals. Porcelains typically have the most natural appearance although they tend to be less durable than the other materials.
For a patient qualifying for dental crowns, the treatment plan generally involves:
1. Numbing the tooth to be crowned. Re-sculpturing the tooth to provide an easy fit for the crown.
2. Making an impression of your teeth to send to a dental laboratory where custom-made crowns will be created (usually takes two weeks).
3. Making a temporary crown out of composite resin and fitting them onto the teeth during the interim period when the permanent custom-made crowns are being created.
4. Applying the permanent crown (when received from the lab) by removing the temporary crown and fitting the permanent one onto the tooth.
The dentist makes sure the crown has the proper look and fit and then cements it into place. A minimum of 2 visits over a two week period is what it takes for the treatment to be completed.
Dental Implants are artificial tooth replacements that were first developed about half a century ago by a Swedish scientist named Per-Ingvar Branemark out of a real need of patients to secure their loose-fitting dentures. Since then, the knowledge and engineering of implants has enabled dentists and their patients to expand their usefulness in many ways that was once not possible including replacing missing or lost tooth. Today, the implant techniques provide a wide range of tooth replacement solutions including:
- Single Tooth Replacement
- Multiple Teeth Replacement
- Complete Replacement
The entire implant process is performed over the course of a few months. The first part of the process is to install the implant itself, where a screw is placed into the jaw bone. An incision is made in the gum so that the implant can be inserted. Multiple implants can be placed at once if necessary. After the implants are placed the gums are sutured.
The implant must be allowed about 3-6 months to heal, and during this time the jaw bone will form around the implant in a process called osseointegration. During this healing time you can have temporary crowns installed so that you can eat and speak normally and maintain a proper aesthetic appearance for your smile.
After the implant has healed it is time to place an abutment on the implant. The abutment serves as the base for your new tooth. One this is placed an impression of the abutment is taken and is used to create your permanent restoration. Some offices have an onsite lab to create the crown, but others will have to send it to an outside lab. Once the restoration is completed you can return to the office to attach the restoration permanently. Your smile will look just like it used to, and after a short period of getting used to the implant it will feel just like one of your own teeth.