For most patients, dental implants make the best choice for replacing one or more missing teeth. Unfortunately, there are still people who have not yet heard of this relatively recent innovation in dentistry.
Dental implants are a treatment option for replacing missing teeth that provide:
- Long-lasting results.
- A restoration that is firmly anchored within the jawbone. No slippage.
- The look, feel and function of natural teeth.
What is a dental implant?
A dental implant is a type of restoration for missing teeth that involves three basic parts: a metal post, an abutment and a crown.
What is the process of receiving a dental implant?
The process of receiving a dental implant begins with your initial consultation. This is when you meet with your dentist to be examined to determine if you are an appropriate candidate for this procedure.
After the determination has been made that you would benefit from a dental implant, your dentist will go over with you every step of the process so that you understand what is involved from start to finish.
At your first dental implant appointment, your dentist will be implanting a metal post into your jawbone. Titanium is the metal most frequently used for this purpose. The reason is that titanium is an inert metal that is not expected to react in any way with the human body. It is mixed with other metals to form an alloy that is extremely strong.
After the initial titanium metal post has been firmly implanted within your jawbone, you will need to wait a few weeks. During this time, your jawbone will be fusing around it to create the perfect, stable foundation for your new implant.
At your second dental appointment, your dentist will attach what is known as an abutment onto the metal post that was previously implanted. The purpose of the abutment is to allow for the placement of a dental crown on top of all of the installed components.
Finally, the dental crown will be fitted onto the abutment that was placed during your second dental appointment. This provides a chewing surface that appears just like a natural tooth.
Although most dental implant procedures take three appointments, it could take more if you require a bone grafting procedure. This is necessary whenever a patient has gone for a long period of time with one or more missing teeth. This causes bone resorption, or a melting away of the bone under the missing tooth. The bone graft provide sufficient bone mass to anchor a dental implant onto.
Caring for Your New Implant
There are no special requirements to care for a new dental implant. But it is still important to keep up with your regular oral hygiene routine at home, because you could develop plaque or gum disease that could threaten a dental implant, just as it would a natural tooth.
Scheduling Your Appointment
If you feel that you would benefit from a dental implant, please contact our dental office today to schedule a consultation or request additional information about this innovative procedure.