What Are Dental Implants?
Tooth loss is a problem that many people suffer from. Removing a tooth may be necessary because of tooth decay, injury, or periodontal disease. When you have a tooth removed, the root of your tooth is also removed. Dental implants are not a replacement for the tooth itself, it is actually a replacement for the root of your tooth.
The dental implant is necessary to replicate the function of one of your permanent teeth. The dental implant will be what holds the dental crown (false tooth). Meaning, unlike dentures that can become loose and make it more difficult to speak and eat, dental implants and crowns are designed to act and function like your permanent teeth.
The Dental Implant Procedure
Step 1: Your Treatment Plan
To begin, you will receive a specific treatment plan that best fits your needs. This plan is created by dental specialists who know what the best options for you involve.
Step 2: Dental Implants
Once the specialists have created your plan, the dental implant is installed in the bone socket of the missing tooth. This implant is made out of titanium. The implant will then need time to heal; usually 1-3 months. During this time of healing, the jawbone will grow around the implant and secure it into the jaw.
Step 3: The Abutment
After the jawbone is healed and the dental implant is secured in the jaw, an abutment is placed on the implant. An abutment is what connects and holds the replacement tooth to the dental implant. Your gums will need a healing period after this as well, but only a week or two.
Step 4: Impression of Your Teeth
When you go back to the dentist after your gums have healed, they will make impressions of your teeth as well as create a model of your bite. These will be used to create your artificial tooth. You will receive a temporary crown while the permanent crown is being made.
Step 5: Placement of the Dental Crown
Then, when the dentist has the permanent crown ready, you will go back and have your temporary crown removed and replaced with the permanent one.
Step 6: After Surgery
During the surgeries, you will be given options of anesthesia to help ease any pain that may be caused. It’s important to remember the steps listed above are a general outline of a dental implant procedure. Some procedures may be different depending on your needs.