What are Dental Implants?
A dental implant is a metallic foundation fixed into the jawbone to act as the attachment point for artificial teeth. The teeth are selected to match your natural teeth. In simple terms, we can call the implant "an artificial tooth root." Most dental implants are made of titanium, making it easy for them to integrate with the bone without any adverse effects.
Dental Implants Procedure
Before the dental implant procedure, your dentist or oral surgeon will conduct a comprehensive evaluation to ensure the implant will match your natural teeth. They will also use anesthesia to minimize pain during the procedure. This could be via general sedation, IV, or local injection.
The dental implant procedure comes in several phases. During the initial stage, the surgeon will make an incision on your gum to expose the jawbone. They will then drill a small hole where the implant will be inserted. This process can take several hours. After the procedure, you'll be allowed to leave the clinic, and you may come back after a few days to have the sutures removed.
Following the procedure, the dentist will allow time for the implant and bone to fuse. This process is known as osseointegration. Titanium is biocompatible with bone. That's why dental implants may last a lifetime. This process takes about 3 to 6 months and can even go up to 7 months for the upper jawbone.
After the bone and implant integrate and heal, the abutment is inserted. This is a metal connector that holds and supports the crowns. At times, the abutment is attached to the implant when inserted.
Selecting Your Ideal Artificial Teeth
After your gums have healed, it's time to choose your desired artificial teeth. Your dentist will help you to pick artificial teeth that match your natural teeth. In this case, you can choose, fixed, removable, or a combination of the two. The crowns are then screwed onto the abutment.
On rare occasions, your dentist may consider a one-stage dental implant, commonly called "teeth in a day." This is a modern form of implantation whereby the implant, abutment, and a temporary crown are installed in one day. The permanent crown is inserted after around three months when the implant and bone have fused completely.
Most dentists don't prefer this procedure since it presents a higher chance of implant failure. Most oral surgeons and dentists believe the multistage method offers better and long-lasting results.
After the Procedure
Just like any other type of dental surgery, you should expect some discomfort after the procedure. They include pain, minor bleeding, bruised skin and gums, and rarely, swelling of the gums and face. Your doctor will prescribe some antibiotics to prevent infections and medications to arrest the pain.
If the discomfort, pain, or swelling worsens several days after the surgery, you need to immediately contact your dentist. Also, consider eating soft foods after the surgery to allow the site to heal.
Typically, most dental implants are successful. Research shows a success rate of 98% for these implants. However, this mainly depends on the jaw the implant is inserted. If you take good care of these implants, they can last a lifetime.
Are you in need of dental implant services today? Contact us now! Our experienced and highly trained dentists and surgeons are ready to help.