Surgical Procedures

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If you are considering implants, either to replace missing teeth or to support dentures, you will not find a doctor more experienced, more skilled or better trained that Dr. Neil Thomas. Dr. Thomas has been performing implant restorations since FDA-approval in 1986. Since then he has successfully performed over 10,000 implant and related surgical procedures. He’s a national lecturer and mentor, training other dentists all around the United States in surgical implant & restoration protocol and advanced surgical techniques.

Complete and Partial Dentures
Brighton Dental offers dentures as replacements for missing teeth, that can be taken out for cleaning and maintenance and then readily put back into the your mouth. There are two main type of dentures: full and partial. A conventional, full denture is placed in the mouth after all remaining teeth are removed and the tissues have healed. In contrast, a partial denture rests on a metal framework that attaches to the patient’s natural teeth as a removable alternative to a bridge.

Implant Retained Overdentures
An implant retained overdenture is a type of full or partial denture that is supported by and attached to multiple implants. This treatment option is ideal for patients who don’t have any teeth left in their jaw, but have sufficient bone in the jaw to support the placement of multiple implants.

Implant retained overdentures are more stable than regular dentures. Patients find it easier to speak and don’t have to worry about their denture(s) becoming loose or falling out of the mouth. An implant retained overdenture in the upper jaw will also feel more natural than a regular denture because the denture no longer covers the roof of the mouth. Patients with implant retained overdentures are generally also able to eat a larger variety of foods than possible with traditional dentures.

Mini ERA Implants to Retain Overdentures
Combining leading edge technology and proven engineering, Dr. Thomas typically uses the mini ERA implant system in conjunction with larger, conventional implants to secure an overdenture. The main advantage is that with one secure snap the denture is in place, eliminating the need for any adhesive, making the dentures easily removable for cleaning. This ultra-secure and confident fit helps to correct speech problems, weak muscle coordination and clicking noises: all signs of poor fitting or loose dentures.

Platelet-Rich Plasma
Platelet-rich plasma contains high concentrations of the patient’s own growth factors to help speed the healing process. Used during implant surgery and extractions. Dr. Thomas draws blood from the patient and places the blood in a centrifuge to separate the platelets suspended in plasma from the rest of the blood material. The spun-out platelets are placed at the surgical site, enabling the body to start the normal healing process at a greatly accelerated rate.

AlloDerm regenerative tissue matrix is processed from donated human tissue that must pass the same stringent screening criteria and purification as any other implantable tissue or organ. AlloDerm provides the collagen structure and proteins that help your body’s own tissue grow and remodel by serving as a “scaffold” onto which your cells will better grow. Dr. Thomas successfully uses AlloDerm to augment soft tissue around dental implants, to protect bone grafts and to cover and protect extraction sites during healing.

Bone Grafting
Bone grafts can build-up or fill-in jawbone defects allowing the secure and lasting placement of dental implants. Bone grafting techniques represent one of the greatest advances in modern dentistry and are nothing short of a miracle for those needing bone replacement. There are generally four types of bone grafts used:

Bone to be grafted to the jaw is harvested from the patient’s own body. The area where the bone is harvested from is usually the mouth or the hip. This is your own bone and is very compatible with your body, making autografts the best graft technique with the greatest regeneration of missing jawbone.

Bone to be grafted to the jaw is taken from human donors. Bone obtained in this manner undergoes rigorous tests and sterilization. Your body “converts” the donor bone into your natural bone, thereby rebuilding your resorbed jawbone.

Bone to be grafted to the jaw is harvested from animals. The animal bone, most commonly bovine (cow), is specially-processed to make it biocompatible and sterile. It acts like a “filler” which in time your body will replace with your natural bone.

Alloplastic Grafts
The material to be grafted to the jaw is inert, man-made synthetic material that mimics natural bone (often a form of calcium phosphate). Depending on how it is made, it may be “resorbable” or “non-resorbable”. In those cases where it is non-resorbable, it acts as a “scaffold” upon which natural bone is grown.

Autogenous Block Grafting
The use of implants has become a standard treatment option in advanced dental care. Adequate bone quantity and quality are prerequisites for good aesthetic and functional results. Autogenous bone grafts are a highly successful solution for bone augmentation procedures. Healthy bone is harvested from the patient, in a “block,” which is then shaped and contoured and finally attached to the insufficient bone site with surgical screws. The area is then recovered with gum tissue and allowed to fully integrate with your existing bone before the surgical screws are removed. The graft site now has sufficient bone quantity and quality to support the placement of implants.

Sub-Antrial Bone Augmentation
Also known as a “sinus lift,” sub-antrial bone augmentation is a surgical procedure that adds bone to your upper jaw in the area of your molars and premolars to make the jaw taller. The sinus membrane is moved upward, or “lifted” to make room for the bone that is added between your jaw and the maxillary sinuses, which are on either side of your nose.

There are four reasons for doing a “sinus lift”:

  • Multiple tooth loss in the upper jaw has resulted in insufficient bone being present for implants to be placed
  • Bone loss due to periodontal disease
  • The maxillary sinus may be too close to the upper jaw for implants to be placed

The bone used in the sinus lift may come from your own body (autogenous bone), from a cadaver (purified allogeneic bone) or synthetic materials (alloplasts).