Treatment planning dental implants for partially edentulous patients can present with challenges for dentists due to having to replace multiple teeth that have been missing for a long period of time and have potential for severe loss of bone and soft tissue coinciding with the prolonged time without replacement. For partially edentulous patients, dental implants offer advantages over removable and conventional fixed bridges of ability to preserve bone in the site, ability to fabricate implant restorations which are superior in occlusion, support, and overall function as well as improved oral health. Dental Implants also have higher overall longevity than conventional fixed or removable prosthesis.
Partially edentulous patients typically require implant replacement due to tooth loss from gum disease, caries occurring around abutment teeth supporting their prosthesis, as well as tooth fractures. Due to the amount of time that the teeth have been missing, there is typically a significant loss of bone and soft tissue, and the bone quality and quantity also plays a major impact on implant success.
Due to the duration of tooth loss, changes can also occur in mesiodistal span and there is also a potential for extrusion of opposing teeth. These factors can translate to implant restorations that are subjected to lateral forces or dental implant overload. To prevent potential complications, meticulous attention is required during the treatment planning phase to ensure success of dental implant placement for partially edentulous patients. The goal of this course is to review potential risk factors that can occur in the maxilla and mandible when replacing partially edentulous sites with dental implants and ways of mitigating them for implant success. It also reviews impact of bone and soft tissue on implant success, ways of correcting deficiency prior to implant placement and impact of occlusion on implant restorations replacing partially edentulous sites.