Dental implants are artificial replacements to compensate for tooth loss. Many people
are self conscious if they have lost teeth due to injury or disease. They are sometimes
unable to speak or smile comfortably. Also if their bite is irregular it can lead
to other complications such as malnutrition.
Tooth loss might be due to trauma of the mouth, excessive wear and tear, congenital
defects or gum disease. Regardless of what the cause of tooth loss is dental implants
are usually the best solution for them.
Dental Implant Procedure
The implant procedure is the same whether one or all teeth are missing. Your dentist
will make sure you are a candidate for the procedure and use the right type of anesthesia
so you will be as comfortable as possible. First the dentist will conduct a through
examination of your teeth and gums which might include x-rays and or ct scans to
see if you have enough bone and gum tissue to conduct the implant. When there is
insufficient bone structure, bone grafting may be a recommended procedure.
Who is a good candidate for a Dental Implant Procedure?
A good candidate will have the following:
Read more about who is a candidate for a Dental Implant
- Commitment to taking care of the implanted teeth and surrounding gums with daily
brushing and cleaning
- Regular checkups and professional cleanings
- Otherwise healthy
- Good healthy gums
- Enough bone to anchor the implant to the jaw
1. Placing the Implant
When the dentist is sure you are healthy and a candidate for this procedure; the
bone area where the implant will be placed is exposed by opening the gum tissue.
Once healthy bone material has been established, a special drill is used to prepare
the bone to receive the implant. A small hole is made where there is no tooth in
order to put the titanium screw that will hold the implant in place. The dentist
must be very careful not to damage any vital nerves of the jaw and face when drilling
this hole. Also, mini implants which are smaller diameter implants might be used.
Once the bone is prepared the implant is placed on it and the tissue is then sutured
2. The Healing Process - Osseointegration
The healing process usually lasts three to six months. This is the amount of time
it often takes the implant to heal and fuse or become part of the jaw, commonly
referred to as osseointegration. Osseointegration is very important for the implant
to work. If osseointegration does not occur the implant will not be successful.
The sutures however are usually removed, seven to fourteen days after surgery.
3. Attaching the Post
When the gum tissue is ready, a special post is attached to the implant. This is
the support for the new porcelain crown. Today's technologies often include zirconium
abutments attached to the implant post, to be sure that the new porcelain tooth
possesses translucency properties similar to a natural tooth.
4. Placing the Crown
A temporary crown might be used to allow the gums to shape and grow around it. After
impressions are taken a crown is made and shaded to match your existing teeth. The
crown is then slipped over the post and cemented. The final prosthetic crown appears
just like a natural tooth.
5. Caring for the Implant
If you are diligent in the care of an implant it can last up to more than 40 years.
You must go to all the follow up appointments and have professional cleanings done.
Careful brushing and flossing are also very important to make sure the implant does
not fail or get infected.
After Placement of Dental Implants - Post Surgical Instructions
Read through some of the most frequently asked questions regarding Dental Implants
to get a better idea about the procedure.
Click to Read Dental Implant FAQ's
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Interesting Links about Implants