A dental implant is an artificial device that replaces the root of the tooth and can be used to anchor an artificial crown, bridge or denture. For patients missing one or more of their natural teeth, dental implants offer the strongest support for their various restorations.
The process of placing a dental implant is a full top-to-bottom reestablishment of the missing tooth’s presence in the mouth, from the creation of a “root” through the use of titanium posts, to the replacement of the teeth with expertly made crowns, bridges, or dentures. Dental implants replace your missing roots, which encourages bone growth in your jaw as well as ensuring that any potential further bone loss comes to a halt. The result is greater stability and a true fit that can last a lifetime. In fact, dental implants are the most permanent option for tooth replacement available today.
As it is a long lasting solution to replacing missing teeth, so it goes that the process follows in several steps to ensure its long-term success.
Here is a snapshot of what goes into the dental implant process after candidacy has been determined:
Placement of the dental implant: The first stage of treatment is the placement of the implant, a small titanium post. The post is inserted through a small hole in the gum line where the tooth is missing. This implant will act as the replacement for the root, and this in turn will stimulate the jawbone so that deterioration does not occur.
Fusion, or Osseointegration: It will take several weeks for the gums to heal after placement of the implant. Within these few weeks, the implant will fuse to the jawbone through a process known as osseointegration. This integration is key to the success of dental implant treatment.
Attaching the Abutment: Once it has been determined that osseointegration has occurred, an abutment will be attached to the dental implant. This abutment is a small piece that connects the implant to the patient’s dental restoration. At Happy Smiles, we use either screw-retained restoration post implant placement or cement-retained restoration. Whatever is right for you will be decided at your consultation visit.
The final step of dental implants treatment is securing the dental restorations. Dental implants may be used to secure dental crowns, bridges, or dentures.
The final results are beautiful and strong dental restorations that resemble the natural teeth in both form and function.
In order to be a candidate for dental implants, a patient must have healthy gums and a strong jawbone that is in tact enough to support the implants. If you are experiencing decay, gum disease or other issues, then these issues must be addressed before implants are placed.