919-469-9986 DIPLOMATES OF THE AMERICAN BOARD OF PERIODONTOLOGY

Dental Implants

Dental implants are small titanium posts which are designed to provide a foundation to help replace single or multiple missing teeth.  Replacing missing teeth with dental implants allows you to return to the normal function, esthetics, and comfort that you had with your natural teeth. Replacing teeth with dental implants typically is the most esthetic way to replace teeth because it mimics natural teeth emerging from the gum.  When replacing a single tooth, placement of a dental implant prevents the preparation of adjacent teeth in order to fabricate a tooth supported bridge.  If you need to replace the last tooth in your jaw, a dental implant usually is the only tooth replacement option other than a removable partial denture.  Multiple teeth can be replaced with dental implants when they are used to support an implant bridge.  In addition, removable appliances, such as dentures or partials, can be anchored with dental implants. This creates better stability of the removable appliance, and allows for improved function and esthetics. Replacing a missing tooth or teeth with dental implants requires a team approach.  The surgical portion of the treatment plan (implant placement into bone) is performed by your periodontist.  Following healing of the implant into the jawbone, the restorative portion (attachment of a crown/cap or denture) is then performed by another dental provider who is familiar with such treatment (usually your general dentist or a prosthodontist). Dental implants are truly changing the way people live.  With them, people are rediscovering the comfort and confidence to eat, speak, laugh and enjoy...

Site Preservation

Site preservation refers to a specific application of bone grafting that attempts to prevent the resorption of bone that normally follows the removal of a tooth.  At the time of tooth removal, the resulting socket is filled with bone material and covered with a protective dressing.  Filling the socket with bone in this manner dramatically delays the normal bone resorption process that would occur at an extraction site.  It also hastens the process of bone maturation at the site, thus allowing the placement of a dental implant sooner than would be possible if the socket was left to heal without the benefit of the added bone.  This procedure is very successful in preserving the ridge of bone that is necessary for implant...

Ridge Augmentation

Ridge augmentation refers to the process of adding or building up bone in an area of bone deficiency. Bone deficiency in the jaw regions is usually the result of resorption of bone after teeth have been removed, but it can also occur as a result of periodontal disease, trauma, wearing dentures, or developmental problems. This process of bone resorption becomes a problem if it results in insufficient bone to allow for replacement of teeth, particularly if dental implants are to be placed. One of the most critical factors when considering dental implant treatment is the amount of bone available to support the implant itself. Both the height and width of bone must be satisfactory. Ridge augmentation procedures can improve the quantity (and quality) of available bone for placement of dental implants at sites that otherwise would be unsuitable for implant placement. Depending on the situation, ridge augmentation may be done at the time of implant placement, or it may be needed prior to implant...

Sinus Lift

The maxillary sinuses are hollow, air-filled cavities located behind the cheeks and above the roots of upper molar and premolar teeth.  Occasionally, some of the roots of the upper teeth will extend up into the maxillary sinuses. When these upper teeth are removed, there often remains just a thin wall of supportive bone separating the maxillary sinus and the mouth.  Often, the remaining bone height is not sufficient for placement of dental implants. A sinus lift is a procedure that serves to increase the height of the bone so that dental implants can be placed in an ideal position.  Most commonly, a small incision is made in the premolar or molar region to expose the bony ridge.  A small opening (window) is made in the bone, and the membrane lining the sinus is gently pushed upward.  The underlying space is filled with bone graft material and the incision is closed. After several months of healing, implants can be safely and predictably placed in the newly regenerated bone.  In cases with less advanced bone loss, dental implants can sometimes be placed at the same time as sinus...