What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants, placed into the jawbone, act as an artificial tooth root. These posts, or metal frameworks are a base for artificial teeth, otherwise known as dental crowns. Because this framework is fused into the jawbone, the implant won’t shift or rub the way bridgework or dentures can. This technique offers excellent support for your new teeth.
Dental implants are the strongest devices available to support replacement teeth, guaranteeing functional and natural-looking dental corrections.
Dental Implants are typically made up of three different parts:
- Implant: This is a screw-like framework that is permanently fused into the jaw.
- Abutment: An abutment connects the implant to a tooth or set of teeth.
- Crown: Typically made from white composite or porcelain, this is the part of the implant that you can see in your smile.
Dental Implant Candidates
If you are interested in dental implant surgery, a consultation with your dentist is required for a teeth examination. The following list may indicate that you are a good candidate for a dental implant:
- Missing teeth (some or all)
- Requiring long-term tooth replacement
- Looking for a secure tooth replacement option
- Desiring a natural, beautiful smile
What’s Involved in Dental Implants?
X-Ray and Impression
The process begins with an x-ray to evaluate the current bone and gum condition. This helps your dentist conclude if a dental implant is necessary. An impression is then taken to create a mold of the patient’s teeth in order to develop a customized implant.
Tooth Extraction and Implant Placement
Any remaining troubled teeth that remain in the mouth will be extracted prior to implant placement. In order to place the implant, a small hole is drilled into the jawbone. The implant is then placed into the jawbone.
Abutment and Crown Placement
Following implant placement, the jaw may need weeks or several months to heal and fully fuse to the implant. After the jaw has healed, an abutment is placed onto the implant. The abutment allows for proper connection to the crown. The crown is then attached to the abutment, leaving the patient with a brand new, long-term tooth or set of teeth.
Benefits of Dental Implants
- The American Dental Association (ADA) estimated more than 5.5 million implants are fulfilled annually by dentists in the U.S. There are many positives to having dental implants:
- Implants don’t slip or shift, providing stability and security in your mouth
- Implants are cleaned in the same way as your natural teeth, so there’s no need to take them out at night for cleaning or soaking.
- Implants don’t rely on neighboring teeth for support. No tooth structure is lost, as is necessary when fabricating a bridge.
- Implants prevent the shifting of nearby teeth, preserving the jawbone and the contour of your face.
- Implants are an ideal cosmetic solution to missing teeth, allowing you to chew and speak with ease.
How do I care for my dental implants?
For a long lasting smile with dental implants, you will want to follow up with regular dental visits and professional cleanings. Brush at least twice a day and floss daily, carefully cleaning your teeth to perfection.
Dental Bone Grafting
Bone grafting may be needed in areas where bone is lacking or shallow. Bone grafting is done in sockets of missing or recently extracted teeth. It replaces or adds to missing or shallow bone. New bone growth strengthens the grafted area by forming a bridge between the existing bone and the grafted material. Over time, new bone growth will replace much of the grafted material. Bone grafts are most commonly used to restore or regenerate bone as needed prior to the placement of bridges or implants.