Treatment Approach: 3 Stage Team-based Approach
with dental implants involves a small team, whose key members are:
Like a three-legged stool, each member is required
for overall success.
Implant treatment takes place in a number of stages over a number
of months. Before starting, a treatment plan must be finalised, and
involves clinical examination of the mouth, x-rays, plaster models
and photographs. A special type of x-ray examination, a CT scan, will
often be required.
First Stage Surgery
The first stage consists of placing the implants in the bone (see
Diagram 1 and 2). For a single implant, treatment is commonly carried
out under a local anaesthetic (injection in the mouth). For multiple
implants, treatment is carried out under general anaesthesia (fully
asleep), usually as day surgery.
Diagram 1: Implant being placed into the jawbone and being cooled
by sterile water.
Diagram 2: Once the implant has been placed, a cover screw protects
the top of the implant allowing the gum to be replaced over
Second Stage Surgery
After 3 - 4 months, Professor Ferguson uncovers the top of each implant
and an abutment is connected. The abutment (see Diagram 3) is the
titanium metal post which projects through the gum, and on which the
new crown or bridge will be built. Sometimes "healing" abutments
are placed for a few weeks until the gum is tightly healed, before
the final abutment is placed. This treatment is usually carried out
under local anaesthesia, unless multiple implants are involved. More
frequently now this "second stage" is eliminated by the
healing abutment being placed at the time of "first stage"
Diagram 3: This picture shows a healing abutment being placed
on the dental implant allowing the gum to heal and giving Doctor
Judge access to the dental implant.
This last phase of treatment is undertaken by Doctor Judge and involves
construction of the final crown or bridge (see Diagram 4). This part
of the treatment will start about 4 weeks following the previous stage
of abutment connection, about four months after the implant fixture
has been placed in the bone.
Diagram 4: This crown is held to the implant by a gold screw
or can be cemented in place.
to top, click here.