The Dental Implant Process
Getting dental implants as a tooth replacement option can be a long process from start to finish. Your dental professional should inform you of the process before starting to limit miscommunication and any false expectations.
A dental implant consists of a screw that is placed in the jawbone and a crown, which looks like a natural tooth, is anchored to the implant. Dental implants are one of the most viable methods of teeth replacement.
Before Placing the Implant:
If you think you may be a good candidate for a dental implant, always discuss this with your dental professional. There are specific health conditions and risk factors, like diabetes or using tobacco, that could influence the decision for implant placement.
Before placing an implant, you may need to let an extraction site heal where a tooth was recently removed, or you may need bone grafting to strengthen the jawbone. Every person is different, so it can take eight weeks to several months.
Dental Implant Surgery:
First, the dental professional surgically places the implant into the jawbone.
Next, the bone grows around the implant to hold it in place. Some people may need to wait until the implant is completely integrated before replacement teeth can be attached to the implant, which may take several months. Whereas others may have the replacement teeth placed all in one visit when the implant is surgically placed.
Lastly, an abutment or small attachment is placed on the implant as a base for the new tooth to attach. The tissue needs about two weeks to heal before the final replacement or artificial tooth is attached to the implant. This new tooth is called a crown, which is designed to blend in with your natural teeth.
Continue Care for Your Implant(s):
Implants can get disease just like natural teeth, so it is very important to have proper oral home care and visit your dental professional regularly.