What is a dental implant?
A dental implant is an artificial tooth root that your dentist surgically places into your jaw bone to support a tooth replacement, such as a dental crown, dental bridge, or dentures.
Together, a dental implant and a tooth replacement look and act very much like a natural tooth.
A dental implant is made up of two parts: a titanium rod that is inserted into the jaw bone and acts as the tooth's root, and an abutment that screws into the rod and supports the artificial tooth replacement.
The Dental Implant Procedure
Dental implants can sometimes be placed the same day as the teeth are extracted, but it usually takes three to six months of healing before you are ready for the implant. Based on your needs and treatment plan, your dentist will be able to provide a more detailed timeline.
The procedure is usually completed in two appointments. The dentist will begin the implant procedure during the first visit by surgically implanting the titanium rod into your jaw bone beneath the gum tissue. The gum tissue will then be stitched back into place.
The implant will bond to the bone and attach to the gum as the tissue heals. The healing process may take several months.
At the second appointment, your dentist will attach the abutment to the rod once your gum tissue has healed. Finally, a tooth replacement will be attached to the abutment.
This procedure will produce an artificial tooth that resembles a natural tooth in appearance and function.
Bone graft surgery may be required in cases where there is insufficient jaw bone volume to support an implant, allowing implants to be placed later.
Many patients are concerned about how painful the dental implant procedure will be. While each patient's pain threshold is different, the majority of patients are unlikely to experience significant discomfort during or after the procedure. You'll have the chance to talk to your dentist about anesthesia options and plan your procedure around your preferences.
Typically, dental implant placement is completed using local anesthesia.
Why use a dental implant?
If you're missing one or more teeth, dental implants can be used to address several issues and protect your oral health.
You can prevent surrounding teeth from shifting, restore any jaw pain or bite issues, and even improve chewing, speech, and digestion by using a dental implant and a tooth replacement such as a dental bridge, dental crown, or dentures. This procedure can also help prevent the appearance of a sunken face, which is common when teeth are missing.
Do you have any doubts about your ability to chew normally? Chewing has been shown to improve after treatment in most cases. After a brief period of acclimating to your new implants, most patients' chewing efficiency is comparable to that of natural teeth.
How long will my dental implant last?
A dental implant can last for many years if properly cared for. It will be critical to practising proper at-home oral hygiene, such as brushing and flossing, as well as to visit your dentist for a regular dental exam and cleaning. Nutrition, genetics, and the development of any dental disease are all factors that can affect the longevity of dental implants.