For the last 25 years, dental implants have been carried out in two stages. During the first stage, the implant is inserted into the bone and left for 3-6 months in order to heal. In the classic procedure, the implant is usually shaped like a cylinder that is surgically inserted into the jawbone.
During the second stage, the implant is exposed and the prosthesis is loaded. The process of Osseo integration, in which a direct interface between the dental implant and bone is formed, is thought to minimize the risks of implant failure.
Immediate loading is a new way of performing dental implants, in which the procedure is carried out in a single stage. More studies show increased benefits with no added risk. With added recognition, immediate loading is becoming increasingly common in the dentistry world.
But immediate loading made some wary at first. When it was first introduced, there was a lot of concern in the dental world about the increased risk of implant failure without the period of waiting time. However, various clinical studies were conducted using Cortex Implants that showed otherwise. These proofed that the clinical success rate of immediately loaded implants after one year was the same as that of delayed loaded implants.
Immediate loading brings many benefits to both doctors and patients. In many cases, immediate loading is considered a better option than delayed implants. Because of the quickness of the procedure, immediate loading implants are exposed to low chewing forces immediately after placement.
With immediate loading, the gum tissue can be shaped by the temporary crown. Since the temporary crown is more similar in shape to the permanent crown, the gum tissue has a better shot at matching the permanent crown and better aesthetic results are achieved.
Another important benefit for patients is the fact that it reduces discomfort and dysfunction. Patients can immediately enjoy their permanent implant rather than having to deal with a less stable temporary denture for at least three months. Patients gain full functionality of their teeth faster.
From an aesthetic point of view, patients no longer have to wait months in order to achieve desired results. Additionally, patients do not have to sit through multiple stages in order to finish the procedure. Within a week of the procedure, assuming there are no complications, patients can immediately enjoy their new implant.
There is also an added benefit for doctors who no longer have to worry about creating long-lasting temporary implants for their patients. Immediate loading saves money and time for both the doctor and the patient.
In some cases, patients may need to await Osseo integration for 3-6 months, if the bone quality is poor or insufficient. The immediate loading procedure is designed in order to make a thorough initial assessment of bone strength and structure. If the bone structure is found to be poor or insufficient, doctors may carry out the traditional 2-stage solution. Thus, fixed provisionalization is possible and encouraged with immediate loading.
Another benefit of immediate loading is the ability to sculpt soft tissues with a tooth form as opposed to the traditional cylinder form.
For the purpose of immediate loading, modified implant designs have been introduced, such as Dr. Zvi Laster’s special new implant for post-extraction immediate loading called “Saturn” that has been designed with a “wing” to provide extra initial stability. The modern implants have textures surfaces that increase area and contain surface porosities that promote quicker bone formation.
Although the benefits of immediate loading are numerous clear, not all patients have the adequate bone structure for this procedure. If there is insufficient bone or poor bone quality after a tooth has been extracted, it is better to proceed with the classic 2-stage procedure of implants.