Dental implants are a permanent and appealing solution to replace missing or extracted teeth. They are alternatives to fixed bridge work because no additional teeth need to be altered to place the new tooth.
The entire implant process is performed over the course of a few months. The first part of the process is to install the implant itself, where a screw is placed into the jaw bone. An incision is made in the gum so that the implant can be inserted. Multiple implants can be placed at once if necessary. After the implants are placed the gums are sutured.
The implant must be allowed about 3-6 months to heal, and during this time the jaw bone will form around the implant in a process called osseointegration. During this healing time you can have temporary crowns installed so that you can eat and speak normally and maintain a proper aesthetic appearance for your smile.
After the implant has healed it is time to place an abutment on the implant. The abutment serves as the base for your new tooth. One this is placed an impression of the abutment is taken and is used to create your permanent restoration. Once the restoration is completed you can return to the office to attach the restoration permanently. Your smile will look just like it used to, and after a short period of getting used to the implant it will feel just like one of your own teeth.
Dental Implant FAQ's
What is a dental implant?
A dental implant is a permanent new root for a missing tooth. It is a titanium screw that is placed into the jaw bone. An abutment and crown is then placed on the implant to provide a new tooth that is permanent and looks just like a natural tooth.
How are dental implants different than dentures?
Dentures are a removable set of teeth or partial set of teeth that need to be removed and cared for in a special manner. They can often feel bulky and are difficult to get used to. Dental implants are a permanent replacement for missing teeth that can be cared for just like natural teeth.
What are the benefits of dental implants?
Dental implants look and feel just like real teeth, they are permanent, you can eat the foods you want without any fear of embarrassment, and they procedure is very successful and fairly inexpensive.