When there is a single missing tooth or multiple missing teeth, a dental implant might be suitable to replace the gap. Dental implants are more like natural teeth than dentures. A dental implant looks like a cylinder or screw and it serves as an artificial replacement for the root of a missing tooth.
There are many advantages to having implants compared to having bridges or dentures. These include no adjustment or touching of the adjacent teeth for a bridges. Forces on chewing and biting on an implant are as good as a normal tooth. Also, there is no plate that is needed to be cleaned or taken out at night or might cause the food trap and decay. It is an efficient and effective way of replacing teeth to balance out the bite.
However before an implant can be placed, an accurate assessment is needed to ensure there are sufficient bone support and integration. Call us for an assessment or discussion for the long term plan.
The process of getting a dental implant takes 3-6 months to complete, and it involves multiple phases.
Proper diagnostic x-rays and c-t scan is necessary to assess the bone level in 3 dimensions with regards to the underlying bone structure and tissues. All medical history and smoking history is taken prior to planning the implant.
Placing the Implant
First, you undergo surgery to have the implant placed in your jaw, where it is covered over with gum tissue and allowed to integrate into the jawbone for three to six months. Generally this is done by a specialist dentist in a sterile environment.
Placing the Healing Abutment
Depending on the implant placement, shortly after the implant has integrated, a healing abutment is placed to allow ease of access and correct development of the healing process.
The Impression of the Abutment or Implant
Once the implant has integrated fully, the impression is then taken of the implant site and the crown is made for the implant. This involves taking x-rays of the implant to ensure correct placement of the impression and implant post. Pictures and shade of the surrounding teeth are then taken to ensure a correct match of the tooth.
Insertion of the Implant-Supported Crown
Once the crown is made, it’s then inserted on the implant. This is checked again with x-rays to ensure that the implant crown is fully seated in the correct place. Once a crown is placed on the implant, you can use the implant as you would a normal tooth and floss and brush as normal.