A dental implant is a restorative dental procedure. A screw-like, titanium implant that is shaped to mimic a tooth's root is surgically implanted into the gum and jawbone. Titanium is very biocompatible, the jawbone fuses with the implant several months after surgery. The implant is not the actual tooth, the tooth will be a crown. The implant functions as an anchor, called an abutment. The abutment will support either a crown or dental bridge. Schnierow Dental Care offers a variety of restorative dentistry options, as well as dental implants.
Qualifying for Dental Implants
Children do not qualify for dental implants as they are still developing, the implant would cause orthodontic issues for the child later in life. Chronic illnesses like leukemia and diabetes can inhibit the healing process and make you ineligible for surgery. Chronic smoking of tobacco can inhibit your body’s ability to heal, you may be ineligible if you smoke. There are alternative restorative dentistry options available for people who are looking to restore one or more teeth such as dental bridges, crowns, and partial dentures.
Dental Implant Surgery
Dental implant surgery is performed by a team of oral surgeons or restorative dentistry specialists. A dental implant and crown can be installed on the same day, but in most cases, the crown is fabricated after the implant is installed. Dental implant surgery can take two appointments to complete treatment, treatment can span over six to nine months total. An initial dental exam is needed to determine your eligibility for the treatment. During your exam, the dentist will take x-rays of your jawbone to see if it can support an implant. If you are eligible for treatment, the dentist will go over a treatment plan with you for the surgery.
Dental Implant Surgery Procedure
Before surgery can take place, you will be given either an IV sedation or a heavy anesthetic. An incision is made in your gum to expose the area above the jawbone where the implant will be placed. A hole is drilled into the jawbone where the implant will be placed. The implant is inserted into the jawbone. The gum is then stitched up sealing the exposed side of the implant.
The titanium implant is shaped like a screw so it can eventually form a strong connection to the jawbone. After the implant surgery begins a phase called osseointegration, for the next few months as you recover at home from the surgery, your jawbone will grow around the implant. How long this process takes varies from person to person, in some cases it can take several months.
After you have taken some time to heal your dentist will determine the security of the implant. Once healing is complete, anchoring points called abutments are placed over the implant to hold the new crown in place. An impression is made of your teeth and sent to a dental lab to fabricate your crown. You will come back for another appointment when your crown is ready. It is cemented over the abutment and positioned to fit the bite.
If you are interested in dental implants, schedule an appointment at Schnierow Dental Care, you can consult our team to see if implants are right for you. Reach out to us at (424) 383-5005 to schedule an appointment, or for more information.