Dental implants is a revolutionary solution to either: replace one tooth; multiple teeth; all teeth; or provide additional support to removable dentures. An implant is composed of 3 parts: the crown, abutment and screw implant. The crown is a custom made tooth that is made of a durable permanent material designed to look authentic and perfectly fit your mouth. The screw implant serves as the anchor to receive the implant in place, the screw implant is bonded to the jawbone. The abutment is the attachment between the crown and the screw implant.
The first step in this process to first schedule a consultation with an oral surgeon or your periodontist. During that consultation, you will be provided with options suitable for your specific needs, discuss whether you are a candidate for dental implants and discuss your goals. Expect to have imaging done such as X-rays and scans. This is essential for the doctor to be able to assess and determine the appropriate method of treatment.
Some prerequisites that your doctor must assess include:
- Periodontal care: the mouth must be free of disease in order to receive a dental implant
- Adequate bone structure: if there is not adequate bone structure to support the dental implant then a bone grafting procedure will be done previous to the dental implant.
If it is decided that a dental implant is suitable for your needs, then the next step is to set up the first step of the surgery which is to have the screw implant placed inside your jawbone. Small incisions will be made in the locations of the mouth where dental implants will be placed; then the dental implant screws will be positioned in said location(s). The dental implant is typically made of titanium, but can also be made of metal free material such as zirconia. Both materials are biocompatible with the jawbone and seamlessly integrate with the soft tissue.
You do not receive the crown the same day as your dental implant. It is important to note that a healing period is necessary to prevent complications and ensure the process goes smoothly. The healing process is the length it takes for the screw implant to completely integrate itself with the jawbone. This process is called osseointegration, and it takes approximately 3-6 months. Your dentist will likely want to schedule an appointment after the dental implant to ensure the all is well with the healing. However, if applicable, you can receive a temporary crown for the time being.
Once the healing process is complete, you can choose the final prosthesis restoration you desire as your crown. Porcelain can be used as a crown for example.
What are the benefits of dental implants?
- Dental implants are designed to last a life-time.
- They look natural and serve to function as a natural tooth.
- Durable and strongly attached to the jaw; you do not need to worry about the crown coming loose.
- Easy care.
- Easy cleaning.
- Restore normal chewing capacity.
- Renewed confidence with a new beautiful and bright smile.