Dental implants are the most natural-looking and functional tooth replacement method available today. The implants are actually just tiny root-like titanium posts that can fuse with and become a part of your jaw bone to provide a stable, permanent, and natural foundation for dental crowns and dentures. The two major down-sides to dental implants is the cost and the fact that it may be a lengthy process with the time between losing your tooth and having a new tooth permanently attached to your new implant taking as long as 4-8 months.
Implants Step by Step
Step 1: Dental Implant Examination and Consultation
The first step towards getting a dental implant will be to undergo an evaluation to decide if you are a good candidate for the procedure. Good candidates typically have high bone density in the jaw to support the implant. You may need to undergo bone graft surgery or sinus lift surgery to produce a foundational structure in the jaw that will sustain and support the implants permanently.
Step 2:Placement of Dental Implant
Once you have been evaluated and cleared to undergo dental implant treatment you will be scheduled for the procedure. To replace your missing tooth, the tiny titanium post is surgically implanted into your jawbone underneath the gum line. The post is capped with a temporary fixture, and the implant is allowed several months to fuse with the jawbone and heal along with the surrounding tissue.
Step 3: Placement of Dental Crown (Implant Restoration)
After the implant is fully healed and fused with your jaw, a natural looking permanent crown will be attached to the implant. Dental implants can also be used for dental bridge and denture supports to provide a better fit for artificial teeth.
Step 4: Follow Up Care
Just like your natural teeth, dental implants are cared for with good daily oral hygiene and semi-annual dental visits. However, unlike your natural teeth, your dental implants will never decay. However, they can be affected by poor hygiene and periodontal disease.