The dental implant procedure is a fabulous way to replace one or more teeth lost to trauma, infection, or decay. Patients can have dentition restored allowing them to eat all the foods they love, speak clearly, and smile with renewed self-confidence. The journey starts with a consultation with your dentist.
Your dentist will review your overall health; this will be followed by an extensive dental examination. Dental x-rays will be used to help determine bone volume and density in the jaw where the implant is to be placed. If the tooth to be restored has been missing for some time, bone may have already diminished somewhat; there are procedures available that can enhance bone strength, if needed.
One or more implants can be placed at the same time; a local anesthetic is usually all that is needed. The implant itself is a small post, most often made from titanium. Titanium is the metal of choice for its ability to resist rejection, and bone grafts to titanium in a process referred to as osseointegration. The implant will become a permanent part of the dental anatomy allowing it to provide a strong base for the restoration it will support.
The patient is responsible for keeping the implant area brushed and flossed. Anything that can disturb the implant may result in failure. The primary causes of implant loss are infection and tobacco use. The patient plays a huge role in implant success during the healing process. If anything doesn’t feel right, see your dentist right away to see if the implant can be saved.
Throughout the healing process, periodic dental visits will be required to examine the implant to take any necessary steps needed to avoid complications. You may be asked to use an antibacterial mouthwash in addition to regular brushing and flossing.
When the bone has integrated with the implant and the area healed, your dentist will be ready to complete treatment by placing the final restoration. An abutment will be attached to the implant and the restoration will be cemented to the abutment. The restoration will match neighboring teeth in size, shape, and contour.
Even though this restoration will never decay, you need to brush and floss all your teeth daily, and follow all the directives you have received from your dentist so your new tooth can support you for life.
Discover how dental implants can change your life and contact our team today.