Dental implants are a long lasting way to improve the function and appearance of damaged or missing teeth. Yet many people hesitate to consider getting dental implants--simply because they don't understand what the process is like. If you are suffering from dental issues that could be treated by implants, read on. This article will present an overview of the entire dental implant process.
Consultation with your dentist.
The proper place to begin is by meeting with your dentist to discuss whether dental implants are an appropriate solution for your condition. They will help to put you at ease by going over what to expect during each phase of the process. And in the event that they are not qualified to perform the relevant surgeries, they will be able to recommend a trustworthy oral surgeon.
Extraction of existing tooth.
This is only necessary if your implant is intended to replace an existing tooth--likely one that is decayed or excessively damaged. In that case, extraction is the first surgery to be performed. It must be scheduled so as to allow enough time for the surgical site to heal entirely before moving on to the next phase.
Insertion of the implant.
Once your mouth has fully recovered from any extractions that had to be performed, you will schedule another visit in order to have the implant installed. This involves the dentist performing a series of incisions in your gums. The idea is to gain access to the underlying jawbone, which is where the implant will be rooted. A series of progressively larger drills are used in order to create a hole in the jawbone.
When the hole has reached the necessary width and depth, the implant is screwed into place. It's important to understand that this implant is not actually the replacement tooth; it is just a stable base to which the false tooth--comprised of two parts: the abutment and the crown--is attached. This cannot be done, however, until your mouth has recovered from implant surgery.
Attachment of the abutment and crown.
Compared to the implant surgery, attaching the abutment is relatively simple and non-invasive, requiring only a local anesthetic. The surgeon will remove the temporary cap used to cover the hole in the implant and replace it with the abutment. This is, in essence, a metal post that provides a site of attachment for the crown.
In some cases, the crown is attached immediately after the abutment. Many dentists, however, choose to wait another week or two in order for your gums to heal from the stress of abutment attachment. Either way, once the crown is screwed into place your dental implant will be fully complete!
To learn more about dental implants, contact a company like Oral Surgery Associates Inc.Share