What is implant?
Diagnostic Phase

Surgical Placement of implant

Uncovering and placement of healing abutment

Implant restoration


Case treated by Dr. Bui at Cosmetic Dentist of Katy

Dinh X. Bui, D.D.S., M.S.

What is implant?
Implant is an exciting treatment alternative that allow us to treat an edentulous space or a missing tooth with an almost equivalent restoration in terms of function, strength, and esthetic. Implant treatment can be divided into 5 stages:

  • Diagnostic phase
  • Surgical placement of implant
  • Uncovering and placing healing abutment
  • Restoring the implant
  • Maintenance

Diagnostic phase involves a thorough examination which the followings will be addressed: i.e., medical history, periodontal health, interarch width, the occlusion, bone height and width, and the health and function of the existing dentition. This is the phase where the success of our implant treatment relies heavily upon.  Base on these data, we selects the size, length, and quantity of the implant to be placed. In the case of multiple implant placement, surgical guide will be constructed to ensure path of draw especially in the case of bar and/or locator use in implant restoration. Most importantly, the implant location must be determined as it will dictate the efficiency of implant function and restorative capability.

Surgical placement of the implant is actually very simple with all the preparation done in phase one. At Cosmetic Dentist of Katy, we preferred our patient to be premedicated with an antibiotic one day before implant placement, along with an analgesic medication taken prior to surgery, and also an antiinflammatory drugs. In many case, corticosteroid is chosen with three days, 18 mg dosage of dexamethasone preferred.  With all these medications, patient will expected to have very little, if any, complication. In the case of sinus membrane lift, Claritin 10mg may be prescribed to prevent sinusitis.  During the implant surgery, we usually place bone graft and physical barrier (barrier membrane) to ensure osseointegration surrounding our implant and prevention of epithelial migration.  Finally, Goretex suture is used to minimize plaque retention around the suture site and prevent infection and graft exposure.

The time period between implant placement and uncovering stage to place healing abutment is about 6-8 months preferrably.  This time period is to allow osseointegration to occur at implant to bone interface. To ensure this has occurred, we torque our implant to 32 N-Cm. In many case early implant loading (before six months) has been attempted, the surgeon or dentist usually will NOT torque his or her implant.  We feel that this stage is very important to ensure the longevity and optimal function of our implant. Uncovering implant and placing healing abutment required only a small incision (less than 5 mm) and takes very little time (10-15 minutes). In most of the time, the patient will not required any pain medication.  The objective of this stage is to uncover the implant and sculp the tissue to receive the abutment. In many case, tissue thickness surrounding the abutment can be increased at this stage.

Implant restoration usually done 4 weeks after implant uncovering. At this stage, the healing abutment is removed and replaced with restorative abutment. In the case of single tooth, zirconia abutment is used. We preferred the new zirconia abutment due to strength and esthetic of the final restoration. Gold screw is used tighten the abutment. In the case of implant supported prosthesis, we use bar if there is adequate interarch width or locator. The success of implant restoration rests heavily in the diagnostic phases. Incorrect implant placement location will tremendously affect the longevity of implant function.

Maintenance of implant is very similar to maintenance of regular teeth. Oral hygiene should be adequate. Periodic recall should be performed with attention to the occlusion and periodontal health surrounding the implant. There should not be any bleeding or inflammation of the surrounding gingiva. Moreover, lateral force on the implant should be restricted or eliminated if possible with selective occlusal adjustment.

At Cosmetic Dentist of Katy, accountability is an integral part of implant treatment. Dr. Bui is responsible for all the diagnostic, surgical, and restorative phases of implant treatment. This allows for proper planing and more error free in using implant as your restorative treatment therapy.



How long will the implant last?
At Cosmetic Dentist of Katy, we expect your implant to last a lifetime. First, oral hygiene must be adequate. Secondly, occlusion shoud be as close to ideal as possible. Thirdly, the health of the patient must be properly followed as to eliminate other pathologic factor such as diabetes. If we can achieve these three things, your implant will last a lifetime.

 We offer payment plan with a low monthly payment and if paid in full in the time specified, you will not have to pay any interest.  For any question, please do not hesitate to call our office at 281-579-6066.

About Us

On the right hand column is an example of a case using implant therapy to restore areas of congenitally missing teeth. Patient has indicated to Dr. Bui that he does not want to cut down adjacent tooth to use as a bridge abutment. Implant therapy will provide better strength in function, easier maintenance by eliminate the use of floss threader to clean under the bridge, and bone preservation in the missing teeth areas. His maintenance program will include once every six month cleaning and checking for minimal of lateral forces during function at the implant site.

For full presentation of this case done in Flash, please browse our porfolio section, under "Implant, treatment of congenital missing teeth.