If you have one or more missing teeth and you’re considering your options, a dental implant should be at the forefront of your mind. Dental implants are the gold standard of tooth replacement options, with the highest level of satisfaction from patients.
What is a dental implant?
A dental implant is usually made of a titanium post and a dental crown. The titanium post secures the implant into your jawbone, and the dental crown looks and acts like a natural tooth. Dental implants can replace one missing tooth, more than one missing tooth, or secure a denture or bridge.
Who can get a dental implant?
To determine if you’re a good candidate for dental implants, you must undergo an assessment by your dental professional. Although most people are good candidates, some may need additional procedures such as bone grafting, or a sinus lift is done first.
Who may not be a good candidate for dental implants?
In some cases, there isn’t enough bone or adequate room for a dental implant. In addition to physical limitations, there are also certain health and lifestyle factors that can increase the risk of a poor outcome. Uncontrolled diabetes, smoking, alcoholism, severe gum disease, poor oral hygiene and some medications may increase the risk of failure of a dental implant. Your dental professional will discuss your risk factors with you.
Dental Implant Procedure
Evaluation– Your dental professional will do a thorough assessment, including dental x-rays and possibly a CT scan. Next, they’ll review your health history and any risk factors you might have. A treatment plan will be agreed upon by you and your dental professional.
The initial surgery– The first step is to place the dental implant into the jawbone. This may be done with just a local anesthetic or under sedation, depending on your needs.
Placing the abutment– The top of the implant post is uncovered, and the abutment is attached. The abutment is the portion of the dental implant that attaches the metal post to the dental crown. Once the abutment is placed, the gums must adequately heal before the dental crown can be attached.
Attaching the dental crown– This is the step that completes your dental implant. The dental crown looks and acts like a natural tooth. With good oral hygiene and regular dental visits, your dental implant should last for many years.
The length of time to complete a dental implant can vary widely. Generally, there is a waiting period of around three to six months between the initial surgery and placing the abutment and the dental crown. This is to allow enough bone to form around the post, securing the implant to the jawbone. Your dental professional will give you an estimated treatment time.
If you have any questions about dental implants, call us today!