Implant dentistry has revolutionized the way we deal with tooth loss. Implants provide a realistic, permanent tooth replacement that is comfortable, durable, and attractive. Traditional implants are placed in a two-step process.
The Initial Implant Placement
The implant itself is an artificial tooth root. It’s shaped like a screw and is made of titanium or titanium alloy. This type of metal has unique properties that allow bone tissue to bond with it, making a strong, permanent attachment. This bonding process also helps your new teeth stimulate growth in your jawbone.
The implants are set directly in the jawbone. They then must heal for a few weeks to ensure the bond between bone and implant is strong and successful. If this portion of the healing process does not go well, our implant dentist might have to remove the implant and start over. In some cases, the bone will not bond to the new root, which means the implant has failed.
Placing the Prosthetic Teeth
After the bone has bonded to the implant, your artificial teeth are set into place on the roots’ abutments. If you have chosen to have your implants support a removable denture, this is also anchored on the abutments. After the teeth or the denture are added, your smile is complete. The decision whether to have individual teeth placed or to have an anchored denture is made by you and the dentist, based on your individual needs, the condition of your mouth, and the health of your jawbone.
In addition to these two main steps—placing the implants and placing the prosthetic teeth—you might require additional steps. If you don’t have enough bone in your jaw for traditional implants, you might require a bone graft. The bone will be grafted and then allowed to heal before the implants are placed. This adds a few weeks to the length of the procedure. If you have gum disease, you will need to undergo treatment for this before you embark on your implant surgery.
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