Dental Implants

Dental implant surgery is a complex process that involves several steps and can take several months to complete. The first step is to remove any damaged teeth and prepare the jawbone for the implant, which may involve bone grafting. The metal or ceramic screw-like post is then implanted deep into the jawbone, and it fuses with the bone over several months. Once the implant has fused with the bone, an abutment is placed and allowed to heal for about two weeks. Finally, the artificial tooth is attached to the abutment. The materials used for bone grafting may be natural or synthetic, and the choice of removable or fixed artificial teeth will depend on individual circumstances. Dental implants provide a permanent solution for those with missing teeth, and can offer a more comfortable and natural-looking alternative to dentures or bridgework. 

Why is a dental implant done?

Dental implants are placed surgically in your jawbone to replace missing teeth. They function as the roots of the teeth and are made of titanium, which fuses with the jawbone. Unlike fixed bridges or dentures, implants do not slip, create noise, or damage the bone. Additionally, the implant materials do not decay like natural teeth that support regular bridges.

In general, dental implants may be suitable for you if:

  • You have one or more missing teeth.
  • Your jawbone has completed its growth.
  • You have enough bone to support the implants or can undergo a bone graft.
  • You have healthy oral tissues.
  • You do not have any health conditions that may hinder bone healing.
  • You prefer not to wear dentures or are unable to wear them.
  • You wish to improve your speech.
  • You are willing to dedicate several months to the process.
  • You do not smoke tobacco.

Dental Implant Procedure

The dental implant procedure typically involves the following steps:

Initial Consultation: You will have an initial consultation with a dental professional who will assess your oral health, examine the area where the implant will be placed, and discuss your treatment options.

Treatment Planning: A comprehensive treatment plan will be created based on your specific needs. This plan may include X-rays, 3D scans, or impressions of your teeth and jaw.

Tooth Extraction (If Required): If you have a damaged or decayed tooth in the implant site, it may need to be extracted before the implant procedure can take place. In some cases, tooth extraction and implant placement can be done in the same visit.

Jawbone Preparation (If Required): In cases where the jawbone lacks adequate thickness or density to support the implant, a bone grafting procedure may be necessary. This involves adding bone or bone substitute material to the jawbone to create a stable foundation for the implant.

Implant Placement: During this surgical procedure, a small incision is made in the gum tissue to expose the underlying jawbone. A hole is then drilled into the bone, and the implant is carefully placed into position. The gum tissue is stitched back together, and a temporary protective covering may be placed over the implant.

Osseointegration: Over the following weeks or months, the implant will undergo a process called osseointegration, where it fuses with the surrounding jawbone. This provides stability and strength to the implant.

Abutment Placement: Once osseointegration is complete, another minor surgical procedure is performed to attach an abutment to the implant. The abutment acts as a connector between the implant and the final restoration.

Final Restoration: After the gums have healed around the abutment, impressions of your teeth are taken to create a custom-made dental crown, bridge, or denture. This final restoration is then attached to the abutment, completing the implant procedure.

Follow-up Care: Regular follow-up appointments will be scheduled to monitor the healing process and ensure the implant is functioning properly. Good oral hygiene practices and routine dental visits are essential for the long-term success of the implant.

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