When to Refer for Dental Implants
We are happy to see patients to offer advice on dental implants at any stage of their treatment, however it is often better and more expedient for the patients if they come for an assessment at the right time.
The thing that causes most confusion with regard to timing of referrals is whether to refer before or after the extraction of the natural teeth. This depends on many factors but we have tried to provide a general guide based on whether your patient is a simple or a complex case:
Complex Cases - Refer Prior to Extraction
In cases where multiple extractions are needed and a complex reconstruction is envisaged then it is always better to see the patient for planning before extraction so that a comprehensive treatment plan can be devised.
Simple Cases - Refer After Extraction
In cases where only a few teeth need removal and the rest of the patients dentition is stable and healthy then it is often better to proceed with the removal of the teeth and the provision of a temporary restoration. We then suggest referring for an implant assessment timed for two to three months post extraction, after the initial socket healing has taken place.
Referral at this stage allows us to perform our full assessment and cone beam CT scan (if needed) at the patients’ first appointment.
An exception to this may be if it would be beneficial to the patient to consider an immediate implant i.e. implant placement on the day of extraction. In general though, we find that more predictable, aesthetic results can be obtained with a staged approach.
If you are in any doubt though, it is probably better to refer prior to extraction, but the patient may require a reassessment a few months later. Please feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss the particulars of any of your patients.
Advanced Implant Placement
Dental implants are now a well accepted form of tooth replacement and many patients are being successfully treated with implants within the general practice environment. Unfortunately, many potential implant patients are not benefiting from this type of treatment for a number of reasons such as lack of available bone, or the perceived complexity of the treatment.
At the Smile Suite we are well equipped with the latest technology to ensure that we can predictably treat almost all patients who have missing teeth. We have an on-site CT scanner to assess the available bone accurately and we use interactive implant planning software to ensure great precision with our implant placements. Where bone volume is limited we often use computer guided surgery to engage every last millimetre of bone and can often avoid bone grafting procedures in many cases. Where bone grafting is required we are experienced in all aspects of augmentation including autogenous block grafts and sinus lift surgery. Frequently, we employ autologous growth factor technology to increase the predictability of these procedures and to ensure a successful outcome for these advanced cases. Both of our dental implant surgeons have over 20 years experience in the field so you can rest assured that your patients are in safe hands.
Please get in touch with us if you would like any more information on what services we offer. We are always happy to work in partnership with referring colleagues to ensure the best outcome for our patients.