How Are Dental Implants Set in Place?
Missing teeth can affect not only your smile’s appearance but also your bite’s alignment and facial shape. In this case, your dentist can attach artificial teeth in or near your jawbone with dental implants, which are artificial tooth roots.
Types of Dental Implants
The two major types of dental implants are endosteal and subperiosteal. Endosteal implants are usually small screws made from body-safe materials, such as titanium. Dentists surgically insert them deep into the jawbone, taking the place of tooth roots.
Subperiosteal implants are ideal when there is insufficient healthy jawbone to support an endosteal implant. Dentists insert them under the gum. They place them above or on the bone rather than in it.
Surgery Timeline and Recovery
Dental implant procedures require multiple steps over around three to nine months. The first step involves evaluating your teeth, gums, and jawbone. That will help determine if you have sufficient healthy jawbone to hold the dental implant. If not, your dentist may suggest a bone graft before beginning the dental implant process.
Placing the Implant
An oral surgeon will cut the gum to expose the jawbone underneath if you have an endosteal implant. They will drill deep into the bone to insert the implant. If you prefer, they can place a temporary, removable denture over the hole for aesthetic purposes before attaching the permanent implant. If you choose a subperiosteal implant, your dentist will not drill your jawbone. They will place the implant post on or above the bone.
After the dental implant placement, it will take anywhere from two to six months for new bone growth to occur around the screw. During this process, known as osseointegration, the natural jawbone will grow around the dental implant and strengthen. That will keep it firmly in place to function as the artificial tooth’s root.
Once the implant and the surrounding bone fuse and osseointegrate, the next step is to attach an abutment. The abutment is a small metal post attached to the implant and protruding from the gumline. It acts as a connector between the implant and the replacement tooth.
Attaching the abutment usually involves making a small cut in the gum tissue to expose the implant. The dentist will remove the healing cap placed on the implant at the time of surgery and screws the abutment onto the implant. Next, they contour the gum tissue around the abutment. The dentist could put a temporary crown on the abutment to protect it while the gum tissue heals.
Placing the Replacement Tooth
Once the gum tissue heals and the abutment is securely placed, the final step is to place the replacement tooth. Dentists take an impression of the patient’s teeth, which they use to create a customized replacement tooth. They design it to match the shape, color, and size of the natural teeth.
Are you considering getting a dental implant? If so, it is best to find a qualified and experienced dentist. They will guide you through the process and help you get the best possible result.
For more on dental implants, visit The Center for Cosmetic & Family Dentistry at our Navarre, Panama City Beach, or Destin, Florida, offices. Call 850-409-6400, 850-810-0600, or 850-810-0300 to schedule an appointment today.
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