There are many ways patients can benefit from having dental implants. This procedure involves replacing a tooth root with screw-like posts made of metal. It can be used to replace missing or damaged teeth. These implants have the appearance and function of natural teeth. It is often a welcome relief from dentures and bridgework.
People often want dental implants if they have one or more missing teeth. They are unable or not willing to wear dentures. They are also willing to commit several months of their time to the process and more.
During any of the stages of the surgery, there are common discomforts a person could experience. Minor bleeding. Swelling of their face and gums. Pain at the site of the implant. Bruising of their gums and skin.
What To Expect
This is surgery done on an outpatient basis and involves certain procedures. Removal of the damaged tooth. Preparation of jawbone if necessary. Bone healing and growth. Placement of abutment. Placement of artificial tooth.
Planning for dental implants could involve seeing various specialties. A physician who specializes in conditions of the face, mouth, and jaw. A dentist who specializes in treating the support structures of the teeth including gums and bones. A dentist who fits and designs artificial teeth. There are times when an ear, nose and throat physician will be necessary.
If someone’s jawbone is too soft or not thick enough, they may require bone grafting prior to implant surgery. This will provide a more solid base for the dental implant. Different bone grafting materials can be used. A natural bone graft from another part of a person’s body is effective. A synthetic bone graft can also help with new bone growth.
Dental Implant Placement
During the procedure, an oral surgeon will make a cut to open a person’s gun and expose the bone. Then holes are drilled into the bone. This is where the metal posts of the implant will be placed. The post will act as a tooth root, so it is implanted deep into a person’s bone. At this point in the procedure, a person will have a gap where their tooth is missing.
Once the metal implant posts are in a person’s jawbone, the process known as osseointegration starts. This is when a person’s jawbone unites with the dental implant surface. This could take several months.
When the process of osseointegration is over, a person may need additional surgery to place an abutment. This is the piece where a crown will attach. Once an abutment is in place, a person’s gums need to heal for approximately two weeks and then their artificial tooth can be attached.
Choosing Artificial Teeth
Once a person’s gums have healed, they will have additional impressions made of their remaining teeth as well as mouth. This is used to make a crown. The artificial tooth will have the appearance and function of a natural tooth. This won’t be done until it is determined the jawbone is strong enough to support using the new tooth. The vast majority of dental implants are very successful. If the bone isn’t able to fuse properly, the implant can be removed. The bone will be cleaned and a person can attempt the procedure once again in a few months. Once the procedure is complete, a person will have a tooth that looks and functions like one that is natural.