Dental implant surgery is a procedure that replaces tooth roots with metal posts in the form of screws and replaces damaged or missing teeth with artificial teeth that look and function much like real ones. It is a great alternative to dentures or bridges that don't fit well and may offer an option when the lack of natural dental roots makes it impossible to build dentures or replace teeth in the form of a bridge. If you have missing teeth, dental implants can significantly improve your quality of life and provide an increase in confidence when eating or smiling. The entire dental implant process consists of three stages, each with its own important parts.
The first stage is implant placement, where the implant itself is placed in the jaw. The second stage involves adding an abutment, which is a post that connects the implant to the prosthetic tooth. Essentially, the abutment is a bridge that extends across the gumline so that the implant itself remains buried. Finally, the prosthetic tooth, or crown, is placed over the abutment.
This final stage includes manufacturing the dental crown, usually made of porcelain, which will be combined in shape, size and color with the patient's natural dentition. The crown is permanently attached to the abutment and the procedure is completed. It takes 2 to 3 months for an implant to heal before it can be used to support a tooth. It can take several months for the transplanted bone to generate enough new bone to support a dental implant.
In some cases, an oral surgeon may need to transplant a small portion of bone, usually from another site in the upper or lower jaw to give the dental implant a solid base. Dental implant surgery is usually an outpatient surgery performed in stages, with healing time between procedures. It's helpful to understand that implants can be used in different configurations (2 to 4 implants) to support a variety of dental bridges by attaching directly to the cheek bones (zygomatic). If your jaw isn't thick enough or too soft, you may need a bone graft before you can undergo dental implant surgery.
Talk to the specialists at the Dental Implant & Specialist Center today to discuss your questions and options about dental implants. With dental implants, you can enjoy chewing all your favorite foods without restrictions.