A dental implant is a titanium post (like a tooth root) that is surgically positioned into the jawbone beneath the gum line that allows your dentist to mount replacement teeth or a bridge into that area. An implant doesn’t come loose like a denture can. Dental implants also benefit general oral health.
If you are considering implants, you must have healthy gums and adequate bone to support the implant. If your bone is too thin or soft and unable to support an implant, you may require a bone graft. Or if there is not enough bone height in the upper jaw or the sinuses are too close to the jaw, you may require a sinus lift.
Dental implants are replacement tooth roots. Implants provide a strong foundation for fixed (permanent) or removable replacement teeth that are made to match your natural teeth. Dental implants are metal posts or frames that are surgically positioned into the jawbone beneath your gums. Once in place, they allow your dentist to mount replacement teeth onto them.
How Do They Work?
An implant-restored tooth consists of several parts.
The implant, which is made of titanium, is placed in the upper or lower jawbone.
The abutment can be made of titanium, gold or porcelain. It is attached to the implant with a screw. This part connects the implant to the crown. It is shaped like a natural tooth that has been cut down to receive a crown.
The restoration (the part that looks like a tooth) is a crown. It usually is made of porcelain fused to a metal alloy (PFM). It also can be all metal or all porcelain. The crown is screwed or cemented onto the abutment. If the crown is screwed to the abutment, the screw hole will be covered with restorative material such as tooth-colored filling material (composite).
The Implant Process
The time frame for completing the implant and crown depends on many factors. It takes 3 to 6 months to finalize dental implant treatment. However, the process can last a year or more, particularly if bone needs to be built up first.
In accordance with the most secure method, two procedures are required, with three to six months between them. During the first procedure, a small incision is made in the gum where the implant will be placed. A hole is drilled in the bone, the implant is placed into the hole in the bone, and the incision is stitched closed. At the end of the healing period, a second procedure takes place. It involves making a new incision to expose the implant. A collar, called a healing cap, is screwed onto the top of the implant. It helps the surrounding gum tissue to heal. After a few weeks, the healing cap is removed. The abutment is screwed into the implant and used to support the crown.
During the consultation, we will do a comprehensive examination. During the exam, the dentist will review your medical and dental history, take X-rays, and create impressions of your teeth and gums so that models can be made. In some cases, the dentist also may order a computed tomography (CT) scan of your mouth. This scan will help your dentist determine how much jawbone is available to hold the implants in place. It also will show the location of structures such as nerves and sinuses (located above your upper teeth) so they can be avoided during surgery.
First surgery — implant placement
Once you have enough bone to successfully hold an implant, you will have the first procedure, which involves placing the implant or implants in your jaw. A periodontist, oral surgeon or general dentist with training in implantology performs this procedure. It is done using a plastic surgical guide made by your prosthodontist or general dentist. The guide fits over your existing teeth and extends over the area where teeth are missing to show where the implants need to be placed.
The most popular type is a root-form implant designed to serve as the root of the tooth. The implant is placed in the jawbone in the space created by the missing tooth. After the first surgery, the specialist will wait 3 to 6 months for the integration process to be completed. During this time, the bone and the implants fuse.
Second surgery and placement of crown
Once the implants have become fused with the bone, you can schedule the second surgery. his surgery is simpler than the first. A new incision is made to expose the heads (tops) of the implants. an abutment is screwed into the implant and a final impression is made of the abutment for each tooth. The abutment is screwed onto the implant and tightened, using special equipment so that it won’t come loose. After the abutment is attached to the implant, the temporary crown is placed on the abutment. In the meantime, the crowns can be either cemented or screwed to the abutment.
Caring for Your Implants
You care for your implants the same way you care for your natural teeth. It is important to brush and floss daily.
What are the main benefits of dental implants ?
Maintain Anatomy: If you have missing teeth, the bone begins to shrink over time. Unhealthy, bone loss can make your jaw line recede and change your facial structure. Dental implants can help prevent deterioration of the jawbone so your face retains its natural shape.
Keep your Healthy Teeth: A beter long-term alternative to bridgework, dental implants eliminate the need to grind down healthy teeth when replacing one or more adjacent teeth. Your own natural healthy teeth are not compromised.
Security: Securely anchored dental implants do not slip or move. This eliminates some of the key problems of dentures, including poor fit, gum irritation and pain from exposed nerves. The result is superios comfort, reliability and freedom from embarrassment.