Dental implants are used to replace teeth lost to trauma, disease, decay, or teeth that never erupted properly. The implant itself is a small post designed to be surgically embedded in gum tissue where teeth are missing. A cosmetic restoration will eventually cover it providing a natural looking tooth that will give you the ability to chew, speak, and smile with self-confidence.
Caring for your implant is the same as what you should do for all your teeth … daily brushing and flossing coupled with twice yearly visits to the dentist.
The Dental Implant Process
This treatment option is not completed overnight or even in a few weeks. The dental implant process can take 6 to 8 months in some cases.
A consultation with your implant dentist begins with a commitment to maintain the implant area keeping it free from infection, a primary cause of implant failure. Tobacco users will be advised to quit as this is another leading reason implants can fail. Following the advice of your implant dentist is paramount.
A discussion regarding overall health followed by a thorough dental exam are completed to further determine procedure candidacy. Dental x-rays will reveal bone density in the area where the implant is to be placed. Inadequate bone does not necssarily disqualify a patient; however, a procedure may be needed to augment bone where the implant is needed.
Once bone strength has been determined to be supportive for the implant, the small post will be embedded in the gum tissue. A healing period will follow. During this time bone will fuse to the implant and incorporate it to become a permanent part of the dental anatomy. This process is known as osseointegration.
The Finished Product
Once healed, you are ready for the final step. A cosmetic restoration will have been made that is designed to perfectly match surrounding biological teeth. An abutment is attached to the implant, and the “tooth” is tried in to make sure it fits and will provide complete functionality.
It will be permanently cemented to the abutment and treatment is completed. You will now have the ability to eat all your favorite foods, talk without fear of slippage, and smile broadly as your newly implanted tooth will look natural and is designed to last for your lifetime.
To learn more about your tooth replacement options, contact our team at A Smile Above today.