Dental Implants Case Studies

CASE STUDIES

Nikki was a delight to work with.  From several treatment options available, she chose the option of permanent implant supported bridges. See below for detailed photos and a look at the complete process. 

  • Before

  • After

  • Nikki was an absolutely delightful person to work with.  On her first visit we took x-rays and performed a Comprehensive Exam.  She knew she needed a lot of dentistry. Her Oral Cancer screening was negative.  So was her TMJ and muscle exam.  You can see super eruption on the lower right and a broken tooth on the upper right.  She had two abcesses which were causing her pain.
  • Loss of supporting bone turned out to be  Nikki's biggest problem.  She knew she had periodontal (gum) problems, she had deep cleanings (Scaling and Root Planing) in the past.  She was pretty certain she would need some teeth pulled. 

     

    Note the green and purple lines.  The green lines are where healthy bone levels should be.  The purple line is where her bone level actually was.  Saving any of Nikki's teeth is not looking good.

  • Here you can see the external results of bone loss.  Note the length of the lower teeth.  Healthy teeth would be half that length.
  • At the time of that first visit she was wearing a removable partial which she had had for 15 years.  She was Ok with replacing it with another removable partial. At this point the greater concern is whether there will be any teeth we can save and support a removable partial.
  • Nikki returned a few days after her exam and we discussed all her options.  She thought at first that she would just go to removable partials or dentures, but her severe bone loss made her a poor candidate for removable prosthetics.  She would have a very difficult time keeping them in her mouth and chewing would be very difficult.  Nikki chose an implant supported bridge on the upper and the lower.
  • Nikki came in for her first surgery appointment.  We took out her teeth and inserted an Immediate Temporary Denture.  This will be her interim denture while her surgery heals.
  • Nikki came in for her second surgery appointment and we placed eight implants, four on the lower and four on the upper.  Here you can see the white healing abutements.  She will wear these for a few weeks while the tissue heals and the bone accepts (called integration) the titanium implants.

    **See note below
  • Here you can see the titanium implants supported by her jaw bone.  The angles of the implants is intentional.  The angle provides better support and integration for the force of chewing after she receives her final bridge.
  • Here she is very nicely healed.
  • Here are her final bridges ready to be inserted permanently.  They were created by a digital lab computer program and contain a metal frame overlaid with acrylic.  Tiny screws will attach the bridges to the implants which she has in her mouth
  • Here you can see the bridges fixed in place.  The white arch is the metal bar of the bridge.

    Here is Nikki with her brand new smile.  She was thrilled with the outcome.  We still see her for regular checkups every six months.  We take the bridges out for her, maintain the implants and make sure everything looks healthy and normal.  She says she can't tell them from her real teeth.

**A few weeks after Nikki's surgery new technology, a CAD program, was made available where the implant placement is designed in a computer, the design is emailed to a lab on the east coast.  They construct a guide that we now use to place the implants.  Invasive surgery like Nikki had to have is no longer necessary. 

So successful is the new technology, that many of our patients have reported that they took no pain medication after the appointment and even went out to dinner after their surgical placement.

Nikki's treatment from start to finish took about nine months.  Today we can often cut that time to as little as four to six months.  The amount of time is determined by the individual healing requirements.


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