Conservative estimates show that about a third of people do not have all their dental teeth. This can lead to a lack of confidence during social interactions and psychological distress.
For those missing teeth, there is hope. You can get your smile back in full force by opting for a tooth implant procedure. But what is this exactly, and how is the process done?
Let’s take a look at everything you should know.
During the initial consultation for a tooth implant procedure, your dentist or oral surgeon will thoroughly assess your oral health, providing detailed information and answering any questions you may have to help you understand more about dental implants. They will examine the condition of your remaining teeth, gums, and jawbone, looking for signs of infection, decay, or bone loss.
X-rays or CT scans may be taken to get a detailed view of your dental anatomy. Your medical history will also be reviewed to identify potential risks or complications. Based on this evaluation, your dentist will discuss the treatment plan with you, explaining the number of implants needed and any preparatory procedures required.
Before the actual implant surgery can happen, there are sometimes steps that must be taken first. If the tooth that needs to be replaced is still there, the tooth may need to be taken out. This makes room for the implant to go in.
Bone grafting may be done if there isn’t enough jawbone to support the implant. To do this, a bone from another part of your body or material made to look like bone is added to the jawbone.
If there isn’t enough gum tissue to cover the implant properly, a gum tissue graft may be suggested. During this procedure, the gum tissue is added to the area around the implant to make it look better and more stable. These procedures ensure that your jawbone and the tissues around it are in good enough shape to support the implant and help osseointegration go well.
Anesthesia will be given to you before the tooth implant surgery to ensure you are comfortable during the process. Most of the time, local anesthesia is used to numb the surgery area, especially the spot where the implant will be put. This helps to keep you awake and aware during the surgery and lessens any pain or discomfort you might feel.
Sedation or general anesthesia may be used for people who fear the dentist or need more extensive procedures. Sedation makes you feel calm and relaxed, while general anesthesia puts you to sleep for the whole dental procedure. Your dentist or oral surgeon will choose the type of anesthesia based on your specific needs and how complicated the surgery is.
The actual placement of the dental implant is a careful and precise process that a skilled oral surgeon does. Once the area is sufficiently numbed, the surgeon will make a small cut in the gum tissue to get to the jawbone.
Then, they will carefully drill a small hole into the bone to make room for the implant. The implant, which looks like a screw, is put into the hole, drilled, and placed securely in the jawbone.
The surgeon may use special tools to ensure everything is correctly lined up. Once the implant is in place, the gum tissue is sewn back together to cover it.
When the implant is healing, a temporary cap may be put on it to protect it. The area where the surgery was done is usually covered with gauze to help the blood clot and speed up the healing process. The whole process is done with care and precision to ensure the implant works well and stays in place for as long as possible.
After the implant is put in, osseointegration, a very important part of the tooth implant process, begins. This step is important for the implant to last for a long time. The implant becomes a part of the jawbone around it through a natural process that takes a few months, usually between three and six months.
During this time, the bone cells in the jawbone grow and attach to the implant’s surface, holding it in place. This integration gives the fake tooth a stable base and ensures it lasts and is strong.
It is very important to give osseointegration enough time because it directly affects how stable and useful the implant is. During this healing time, your dentist or oral surgeon will tell you how to care for your teeth and what you can and can’t eat. This will help osseointegration go well.
Once osseointegration is complete and the implant is fully integrated with the jawbone, a minor surgical procedure is performed to place the abutment. The abutment is a small connector piece that is an intermediary between the implant and the dental crown or prosthetic tooth.
Under local anesthesia, the gum tissue is gently opened to expose the implant, and the abutment is securely attached. The abutment is a stable support structure for the final restoration and is carefully selected to provide a natural appearance and optimal functionality. After the abutment is in place, the gum tissue is sutured around it, allowing it to heal properly.
Dental Crown Placement
Once the healing period following abutment placement is complete, the final stage of the tooth implant procedure involves the placement of the dental crown or prosthetic tooth. This visible part of the restoration resembles a natural tooth and provides aesthetic appeal and functional capabilities.
Your dentist will take impressions of your teeth and bite to create a custom-made dental crown that matches the color, size, and shape of your existing teeth. The dental crown is typically made from durable and lifelike materials such as porcelain or ceramic, which closely mimic the appearance of natural teeth.
Discover a Smile Reborn With a Flawless Tooth Implant Procedure
A tooth implant procedure is often successful and can give you the beautiful smile you dream of. If you are considering the procedure, be sure to research any questions or worries you may have properly.
Speak with your dentist to set up a consultation to learn more and determine if a tooth implant is right for you. Schedule an appointment today to start your journey to a new smile!
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