Dental implants have changed how we as dentists replace and restore teeth. We can sometimes even extract a tooth and place an implant in at the same time. If the implant is stable enough in the bone we can even load it will a temporary prosthesis. This is called immediate load. There are situations where we cannot place implants immediately or load them immediately. This is known as delayed loading. Every person’s case is unique. It is dependent on a lot of factors. Such as, the quality of the bone, the insertion torque of the implants, and the ability of a patient to sit in the chair for an extended period of time to deliver such treatment.
The case I would like to share with you is of an 83 year old female patient with a history of salivary gland disease. Her mouth wasn’t producing enough saliva and all her teeth on the upper arch began to decay. She didn’t want dentures so we planned for dental implants. At no time did she want to be without teeth. Yet because of her age and inability to sit too long in the chair we decided to do a delayed implant placement protocol. In this process we extracted her back teeth first, grafted the tooth sockets with bone, placed some implants, and then waited four months for healing. After four months the implants bonded to the bone and we then took out the remaining front teeth, placed a fixed temporary bridge and did the same process allowing the front implants to heal.
After the final implants healed we then began to restore the implants with the final porcelain to gold prosthesis. The process took a little longer but the patient was much happier We have restored her smile, ability to chew, and quality of life.