This might not be common knowledge but missing teeth will not only make you self-conscious, they can also throw your bite out of alignment. Nowadays, if you have some teeth missing, one of the best options available at your disposal are dental implants.
The dental implant procedure involves implanting the implant in the jaw bone. The dental implant procedure will also require that the bone fuses with the implant successfully for it to be effective.
The dental implant will function as the root of the missing tooth. The artificial tooth root will also hold the tooth or the replacement bridge in place.
Timeline of the Dental Implant Procedure
Dental implants are considered a new alternative to conventional dental prosthetics. Often, it would require the expertise of more than one specialist. For instance, your general dentist will determine if you are a good candidate for dental implant procedure.
A qualified and trained oral surgeon will also be involved in the process. Various specialists will be involved during the different phases of the dental implant process. Typically, the treatment can last for several months.
One of the primary steps in the dental implant process is figuring out if you have enough jaw bone to support the dental implants. If you don’t have enough jaw bone, a graft (or other treatment options that are suitable) will be carried out before proceeding with the dental implant procedure.
Also, if you have other oral problems or issues, they need to be taken care of first before the procedure can be done. For instance, if you have periodontal disease, it needs to be treated first. Overall, you and your gums should be healthy enough to undergo this type of surgical intervention.
Dental Implant Placement
If you need a tooth or a set of teeth, dental implants are always recommended. When the endosteal technique is used, the dental surgeon will cut open the gums and expose the bone below. A deep hole will also be drilled where the dental implant will be inserted.
When needed temporary dentures are also placed over the spaces until there is time to attach the permanent fixture. The replacement will be attached using screws so it would look and function just like the natural teeth.
It will take 2 to 6 months for the bone to fuse with the implant from the time it is placed in your mouth. The fusing of the bone and the dental implants is called osseointegration. Once successful, the dental implant will be strong enough to support the replacement tooth.
The abutment refers to the metal extender that is used to connect the implant to the natural teeth. Another procedure that uses local anesthetic might be required before or after the installation of the implant (i.e., bridge pads for the dental crowns).
As soon as healing is complete, an impression of the teeth will be taken so a replacement tooth (or a set of teeth) can be created. The replacement teeth are often permanent (fixed) and will be attached onto the abutment to ensure added stability.
However, if you prefer the removable alternatives, this is something you have access to as well. As always, it is recommended that you consult your dentist about the option that suits your needs best.