Weekly Business Profile
Michael J. Armijo DDS
Type of business:
General Dental Practice
5900 Cubero NE, Suite B
Number of Employees:
What’s new in dentistry?
I'm excited about the new advancements in dental implants. I am one of the few general dentists in New Mexico who is qualified to do new, state-of-the-art computer guided surgery of dental implants. Implants, which were once considered exotic, are now considered the treatment of choice for missing teeth.
What's an implant?
An implant is a titanium cylinder that is a replacement for the root of a missing tooth. This implant integrates to the bone, anchoring it in-place where the existing tooth was. Once it has integrated, a crown is attached to replace the missing tooth. This procedure avoids the need for plastic teeth that come out at night, or for a bridge, which requires altering the adjacent teeth that might be in good condition, to accommodate the bridge.
Who would need an implant?
Anyone who has broken or lost a tooth. It could be due to a car accident, a sports injury, or an infection in which the tooth could not be saved or restored. Nobody asks for an implant by name, just by expectations. We hear, "I want something that looks like a tooth, that chews like a tooth, that does not come out at night, and does not involve grinding down other teeth that are healthy. I just want my tooth back." Implants are for candidates who are healthy and have an adequate amount of bone structure.
What's the "old" way of placing implants?
The "old" way of placing implants is time-consuming, as it requires seeing specialists and having multiple X-rays. There are many unknown factors that must be "guesstimated," such as whether the patient has adequate bone structure in which to place the implant, what exact size the implant should be, and whether the crown will fit the space and look like a natural tooth.
What's the "new" way?
The "new" way of placing implants is through use of the revolutionary CAD/CAM Cerec computer, which generates the crown first to guarantee optimal functionality and appearance. Then, the state-of-the-art Galileos low dosage X-ray 3D imaging computer takes over 700 images of the patient and creates a 3D image. These two technologies integrate to determine the EXACT place for the implant and crown. There is NO guesswork involved. Everything is figured out on a computer monitor virtually well before the surgery is to take place. If there are any problems, they can be worked out in advance, not during the procedure.
So the the "new" way is way better?
When placing implants over the last 10 years, I found that they were difficult to work with due to the unpredictability of so many factors. Was there enough thickness in the bone? Was the size of the implant correct? What about the crown? These uncertainties are very disconcerting to a dentist, let alone to a patient. From start to finish, the old procedure could easily take a dozen appointments. The new guided implant technology allows me to be absolutely precise in the placement of the implant. It also allows the number of patient appointments to be minimized substantially. The Cerec and Galileos computers have greatly changed and improved the way we do implants.
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