Planning is Everything
First your problems are not unique and affect a number of people. But fear not, there is help at hand. The simple answer is to seek help from a Dental Surgeon who can treat you as part of what we call, a multi-disciplinary team. This means we involve a number of people with different skills to achieve a good long-term and stable result. The secret of achieving that is of course CAREFUL PLANNING.
First of all an OPG (full jaw X-ray) is taken to visualise all areas and make sure there are no hidden problems such as infections or bits of tooth roots remaining in your jaw bone after past extractions and once we are content that we have a full picture of your dental and oral status, then we can begin to assess your jaws for treatment.
Depending of the number of teeth that are going to be, or have been lost, we can determine the ideal number and location of implants needed to give adequate support to a prosthesis (a dental appliance used to replace missing teeth). We must also determine whether the best prosthesis is fixed bridgework , a fixed hybrid denture or an overdenture that can be removed for cleaning only. These various designs can be discussed in detail with the patient to ensure that they fully understand what is open to them and the comparative costs of each option.
To make these decisions, a multi-disciplinary approach is taken involving firstly the patient and in addition other team members including a highly skilled technician, the full support of a specialist dental laboratory and a dental hygienist to ensure that whatever is planned is easily kept clean in the future by the patient. This same hygienist will be involved with the patient later to assist in advice and professional cleaning of the prosthesis and any other remaining natural teeth in order to achieve long-term success and avoidance of problems.
Before proceeding with any treatment, a CT scan is taken (a 3-dimensional X-ray). The CT scan data is then transferred into specialist software that allows the surgeon to plan the exact positions of the implants and the design and length of the implants to avoid any problems later due to poor bone support. The skilled technician will also be involved to ensure that there is sufficient vertical space and horizontal space to accommodate all the parts required to retain the prosthesis. Only when all members have signed off on the plan, the design and the choice of implants, does treatment begin.
Planning for large span or total jaw dental reconstruction is complicated and needs the experience and knowledge of more than one person and the additional technical support offered today by computerised 3-D imaging, computer-based treatment planning and time spent both planning and discussing the plan in detail with the patient.
Contact the friendly team at NQ Surgical Dentistry today on (07) 4725 1656 or call in to see us at 183 Kings Rd, Pimlico QLD 4812
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