Dental implants are the epitome of quality when it comes to tooth replacement. A dental implant is a complete artificial tooth and root system. It replaces a tooth from the root up to the crown, looking and functioning as closely as possible to a natural tooth.
If you’re considering tooth replacement and weighing your options, it helps to know exactly what each option entails. Here is a thorough explanation of dental implants and the procedure for getting one.
How a Dental Implant Works
A dental implant consists of a titanium post that acts as the root of the artificial tooth. This post is surgically placed in the jaw bone. It has threads like a screw that help it stay in place. Titanium is a biocompatible material that has the capability of fusing with the jaw bone through a process called osseointegration. Once the implant fully bonds with the bone, the hold is secure enough to last for the rest of your life, which is usually the result.
After the osseointegration process is complete, an abutment is attached to the implant. This is an extension of the implant above the gum tissue. It will serve as an anchor for the crown portion of the implant, the part that resembles a natural tooth.
The crown is typically made of porcelain because it closely mimics tooth enamel. It is also a strong enough material to withstand the bite force of your teeth, even the back molars. Sometimes based on the restoring doctors preference and situation, a one piece Zirconia crown can be made to directly fit over the implant and screwed in place.
The Procedure Step by Step
- Consultation. The first step is always a consultation. It is necessary for your dentist to evaluate your jaw bone to determine if it is capable of supporting a dental implant. There must be sufficient bone density to place an implant.
- Preparation. If the bone is not ready to receive an implant, a bone graft procedure may need to be done in preparation. This involves surgically placing a piece of bone over the existing bone to thicken it and encourage regrowth. This procedure is only done if it is necessary. Some patients will not need this step.
- Placing the implant. Your dentist will place the implant root in the bone under the gums. The gum tissue will be replaced and be given time to heal while the implant fuses with the bone. This process can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months.
- Adding the abutment. The next step is to add the abutment. This requires the gum tissue to be reopened, then replaced around the abutment which will remain above the gum line.
- Attaching the crown. Once the gum tissue has had time to heal after the placement of the abutment, impressions can be made for the crown. A temporary crown can be placed while the permanent crown is created in a lab. Once the crown is ready it will be fitted and permanently placed.
Dental Implant Supported Bridges and Dentures
Besides just replacing a single tooth, dental implants can serve as anchors for bridges and dentures. When multiple teeth need to be replaced, using just a few implants as anchors can make tooth replacement more affordable. Implant supported dentures are more secure and comfortable than traditional dentures. Implant supported bridges can replace a row of teeth without damaging the healthy teeth on either side. Dental implants also prevent bone loss in the jaw that can occur with traditional dentures or when a tooth has been missing for a long time.
The Dental Implant Center of Rockville
Now that you understand what dental implants are and how they work, you need to find a specialist who can provide this service. Dr. Sreeni at the Dental Implant Center of Rockville specializes in the placement of dental implants. Using advanced technology including live navigation, Dr. Sreeni accurately places implants for optimal success. We have streamlined the process so that you can get one or more dental implants in a shorter amount of time with fewer appointments.