The Dental Implant Process
Dental implants are a great way to replace missing teeth because they are durable. Besides single implants, your dentist can also use implant dentures and implant bridges to replace multiple teeth at once. If you would like to know more about the implant process, keep reading.
Teeth extractions include simple and surgical. Surgical extractions require an incision in the gums, so they cost more and may require an oral surgeon. The dentist extracts teeth for many reasons, including:
- Infection (if a root canal treatment is not an option)
- Severe decay
- Unerupted teeth
Once the tooth is gone, the other teeth slowly drift, filling in some of the gap, which can change your bite and/or smile. This can lead to difficulties eating, abnormal teeth grinding, and discomfort.
Your teeth and jawbones are a team. The jawbone needs to be strong to support the teeth. In turn, the tooth roots stimulate the jawbone, keeping it full. When the dentist removes teeth, that part of the bone atrophies, making it too weak to support a tooth or implant.
For this reason, you may need a bone graft. The longer the tooth has been gone, the higher the risk of bone loss. For the bone graft, the dentist will use bone from another part of your body, cadaver bone, or synthetic bone.
When the jawbone is strong, the dentist drills the implant into the jawbone. The implant uses the jawbone for support like natural teeth. Over time, the jawbone fuses with the titanium implant, creating an even stronger hold. In addition, this process keeps the jawbone full. The area is left to heal. Gum tissue may even grow over the implant.
Once ready, the dentist cuts a hole in the gums to reveal the implant and attach the dental crown. This crown is usually made from porcelain or a mixture of metal and porcelain. Since it's not made of natural tooth tissue, it's immune to decay. The material is resistant to stains, but if it does stain, you can't whiten it.
To maintain your implant, you need to take care of your oral health. The implant can develop peri-implantitis in the gum tissue around the implant. This infection causes gum recession and increases the risk of implant failure. In many cases, the titanium implant lasts the rest of your life, but you may need to replace the crown.
Dental implants are strong and keep your jawbone full. They are an expensive investment, but with good care, they may last the rest of your life. If you would like to know more, or if you want to schedule a consultation, contact a dental clinic, such as Dr Taylors Family Dental Center, today.