Implants inserted into the jaw bone upon which a crown or bridge can be placed can often replace a patient’s missing teeth. Some of these types of implants are designed to integrate and become anchored permanently to the jaw bone. There are many general dentists who will perform this type of implant surgery. However, when it comes to placing these implants, oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons and Periodontists have more extensive and specialized training than general dentists.
Before performing an implant placement, several issues should be addressed by the oral surgeon or periodontist.
- Not all dentists use the same implant system. Therefore the type of system that will be used should be planned by the team prior to rendering treatment.
- When multiple implants or a full mouth restoration is necessary, the surgeon and the restorative dentist decide the amount and where the dental implants should be placed.
- After determining the width of available bone in the location of where each implant is going to be placed, as well and the height of the available bone, the length and width of each implant can also be determined. Implants that are too long can damage a nerve or enter the sinus. Implants that are too wide can damage the structure of the jaw or the implant could fail because there is not sufficient support.
When placing the implant, the surgeon makes an incision through the gum tissue to expose the jaw bone. The hole is then drilled in the place where the implant will be placed. A specialized drill is required and the speed needs to be regulated by the surgeon so that the surrounding bone is not burned when the necessary bone is removed. This would cause the implant to fail and not integrate fully or at all.
The failure of an implant to integrate does not necessarily mean that the surgeon was negligent. However, failure to develop a comprehensive placement plan, placing the implant in the wrong location or in an unusable location, if the surgeon injures a nerve, damages the sinus, or burns the bone at the site of implant, then the dentist may have been negligent and committed dental malpractice.
If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of an oral surgeon’s negligence, contact an experienced Kingston, New York medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible to evaluate your case.
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