Dental implants are modern dental marvels, transforming smiles from diminished to dazzling. If you're one of the many people considering dental implants, it's natural to have questions about the process and how they work their magic. This article is a guide to demystifying dental implants, providing everything you need to know before taking the implant plunge.
The Basics of Dental Implants
Dental implants are the most sophisticated method of replacing missing teeth. Consisting of a metal screw that is placed in the jawbone, an abutment that connects the screw to the artificial tooth or set of teeth (crown or bridge), and the dental prosthesis itself, implants offer a sturdy, long-lasting solution to tooth loss.
The success of dental implants lies in their ability to fuse with the jawbone in a process called osseointegration. This provides a strong and stable foundation for the replacement teeth, ensuring they look, feel, and function just like natural teeth.
Step by Step: The Dental Implant Process
Initial Consultation and Treatment Planning
This step involves a comprehensive dental exam, including x-rays and treatment planning. Your dentist will assess whether you're a good candidate for dental implants and plan the best course of action for your individual case.
Tooth Extraction (If Needed)
If a tooth needs to be extracted before the implant can be placed, your dentist will perform the extraction procedure. In some cases, the dental implant can be placed immediately after an extraction, which is called immediate implant placement.
This is the surgical phase of the process. The dental implant is placed into the jawbone beneath the gum tissue. Over the next several months, the implant will bond with the bone, becoming a part of your anatomy.
Once osseointegration is complete, you'll need a second surgery to expose the implant and attach the abutment to the implant. The abutment is the piece that connects the implant to the new tooth.
Artificial Tooth Placement
In the final phase, your dentist will make impressions of your teeth to create your artificial tooth/teeth, also known as the dental prosthesis. This will be attached to the abutment to complete the process.
The Lifespan and Maintenance of Dental Implants
By taking proper care, dental implants can endure for a lifetime. It is crucial to uphold good oral hygiene, attend regular dental check-ups, and cease smoking (if applicable) to effectively maintain implants. Your dentist will provide instructions on how to care for your implants, which will be similar to caring for natural teeth – brushing, flossing, and using an antimicrobial mouthwash.
For more information, contact a service provider like Lapeer Family Dental.