Dental implants are made of titanium and the base which connects to your jawbone is a screw or cylinder. It is long enough to firmly embed into the jaw and protrude enough for the tooth part to attach to. The part that looks like a tooth is a crown made up of porcelain and this attaches to a special attachment called an abutment.
The actual process does take a period of several months to complete.
Your dentist will explain the options that are open to you to replace any missing teeth, and before you receive dental implants, you will have an examination of your mouth. You will then have a radiograph of your jaws in order to assess the shape and health of the bone and shape of the jawline. They will also look for nerves and at your sinuses to ensure they aren't too close to the site where the implant will be placed.
The surgery to implant the screw can either take one step or two depending on your mouth's health. The surgery involves creating a small incision into the gum in order to expose the bone underneath and drilling into the bone to shape the implant site. When the one stage procedure is used, the implant is fitted into the bone and a healing cap is placed onto the implant. This is removed about 3-6 months after the surgery is done. The crown is placed on top of the abutment once the bone has healed.
The two stage surgery might be needed in order to increase the density and quality of the bone by using a bone graft or a bone regenerative technique. These techniques might be necessary because if you have musing teeth, this can cause your bone to lose volume and effectively shrink. This could also be caused by periodontal disease or aging as well.
Fitting of the Crown or Bridge
Once the implant site has fully healed, your dentist will take an impression of your mouth in order to make a model of your teeth. The dental technician will then construct the crown or bridge that will be placed onto the implant making it look like one of the surrounding teeth. Your dentist will then cement the crown or bridge in place onto the abutment and make sure your bite and overall look is natural and that your bite is correct so that your teeth work together properly.