A dental implant is an artificial tooth root that’s placed into your jaw to hold a prosthetic tooth or bridge. However, when most people use the term “dental implants,” they’re talking about the combination of the implant (the artificial tooth root) and the prosthetic tooth. Dental implants may be an option for people who have lost teeth due to periodontal disease, injury, or another reason and prefer not to wear dentures.
Dental implants Stages
Dental implants are a fantastic way to replace missing or broken teeth and restore your smile, and they are a better cosmetic solution than bridgework or dentures. However, this treatment can’t be done in one visit. There are five main stages to dental implant surgery. These include:
1. Initial Consultation
During your initial consultation, your dentist will examine your mouth and take X-rays or computed tomography (CBCT) scans to provide 3D images of your jaws. This will help him to assess the shape and condition of your bone tissue and the location of important structures, such as nerves and sinuses, and to see if bone graft procedures are needed to develop your jawbone prior to implant placement. This allows the dentist to plan exactly where the implants will be placed.
At this stage, your dentist will decide if you are a candidate for a dental implant procedure. If you are deemed suitable for an implant, they will discuss with you the process of the surgery.
2. Placing the Implants
The process of placing the implant involves making an incision in the gum tissue and inserting a titanium post into the jawbone, where it will act as a new root for the artificial tooth or teeth. Then a healing cap that protrudes through the gum is placed over it. This process is done under local anaesthesia.
If there is a need to increase the quantity of the jaw bone at the implant site, your dentist will suggest a bone grafting procedure.
A lack of bone at the implant site can be caused by different factors, like long-term missing teeth, wearing dentures, or losing bone due to periodontal disease, ageing, or trauma. When teeth are gone, the gums and bones surrounding that area will gradually shrink over time.
After the placement of your implants, the osseointegration begins – this is when the jawbone grows around the implant to secure it firmly in place. This process could take several months but is essential for successful implantation. During this time, you’ll be on a soft foods diet to ensure that your implants heal properly.
Some people prefer to have temporary teeth during the healing period.
4. Abutment Placement
Once your gums have fully healed, your dentist will remove the healing cap and replace it with a permanent abutment over the gum line. Sometimes the abutment can be applied the same day you have your implants placed.
5. Custom-Made New Artificial Teeth
After your gum is healed, your dentist will take impressions of your new implant and send them to the dental lab, where a custom-made crown, implant-supported bridge or denture will be made for you. Once it’s ready, the dentist will place it in your mouth so that you can have a brand-new smile for years to come!
Ultimately, the process of dental implant treatment involves several steps – from consultation to abutment placement and custom-made new teeth fabrication. The process could take up to 12 months, depending on the complexity of each case. However, patients find that the process was well worth their time as they’re able to enjoy beautiful and functional teeth that look and feel just like natural teeth.
Now that you have been informed about the dental implant procedure, it’s time to decide if they are right for you! Be sure to contact us and get your consultation. Our friendly dental team at My Local Dentists will discuss all available options and help you make your decision.
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