Missing and severely damaged teeth can be a source of frustration and consistent self-consciousness for many people. Gaps in your dental structure not only affect the way you talk, smile, eat, or look, they can also impact your overall oral health. With the advancement of technology in medicine, there are several options for restoring missing teeth, and one that is increasingly becoming popular among patients is dental implant surgery.
What are dental implants?
Dental implants are artificial teeth that are implanted into the jawbone. They look, act, and feel like natural teeth. Dental implants not only help to preserve your smile, but they also maintain the structure of your mouth, the functionality of your teeth and prevent your natural teeth from shifting from their normal position.
Parts of a dental implant
A dental implant has three parts:
The implant is a small, screw-shaped structure placed under the gums. It is made from titanium since it’s durable, light in weight, and is biocompatible. Titanium easily integrates with the bone, which means that the human body rarely rejects it.
The abutment is a short stubby screw-like structure that extends above the gumline. Since the implant entirely lies under the gumline, the abutment is attached to the false tooth to support tooth replacement. The abutment is also made from titanium.
The crown is the part of the implant that looks and functions like a natural tooth. It can be made from various materials, including ceramics and porcelain. It is attached to the abutment either by screwing it in place or cementing it.
Types of dental implants
Two types of dental implants are considered to be safe by the American Dental Association:
These are implants that are surgically implanted into the jaw. Once the gum heals, a post is attached to the implant, and a crown is attached to the post.
These are metal frames that are fitted onto the jawbone, just below the gums. As the gums heal, the metal frames become fixed to the jawbone. Posts attached to the metal frames protrude through the gums, and the prosthetic is attached to the post.
Because of their inferior long-term results, subperiosteal implants are no longer in use.
What happens during a dental implant procedure?
- Dental consultation
You will begin your tooth replacement procedure with an implant dentistry consultation. Your dentist will examine your gums and jawbone to determine if dental implants are right for you. If your jawbone has an adequate foundation to support the titanium implants that will be secured to it, you might be a good candidate for a dental implant procedure.
- Implant placement
If you’re an ideal candidate for dental implants, the next step is the surgical placement of the implant into the jawbone.
Your dentist will use local anesthesia to sedate you to make your procedure more comfortable for you. The dentist will then make an incision in your gums and use specialized dental tools to prepare and shape the socket for your titanium implant. Once the socket has been developed, your dentist will place the implant into the jawbone.
- Healing period
Once your dentist places the implant, you’ll need at least 3 to 6 months to heal. During the healing period, osseointegration will occur. Osseointegration is the process of the implant integrating with your jawbone to hold it in place. The healing period is an essential part of the dental implant procedure as it will determine the strength of your implants.
- Abutment placement
After the healing period, your dentist will attach the abutment to the implant. In some cases, he may attach it during the implant placement procedure.
- Crown placement
After your dentist has put the abutment in place, he will fabricate a crown and attach it to the abutment.
At this point, the dental implant procedure will be done.
What about recovery?
After a dental implant procedure, you might experience bleeding, swelling, and pain. Your dentist may prescribe you some antibiotics and pain medications to soothe some of these symptoms.
Healing time will vary from patient to patient. As you recover, your dentist will advise you to avoid physical exercises and temporarily change your diet to a strict soft-cool foods diet.
What kind of aftercare is required?
You’ll need to take care of your implants the same way you would your natural teeth. This includes brushing twice a day, flossing, and regularly seeing your dentist.
If you’re a smoker, you’ll need to quit before you get implants.
How long do dental implants last?
The average lifespan for dental implants is about ten years. However, this number will vary depending on your oral hygiene and how well you take care of your dental implants.
Provo dental implants
Do you believe that dental implant surgery is the right choice for you and are looking for a dentist in Provo?
At Sundance Implant and Periodontal Center, we offer a collection of dental services to cater to our patient’s dental needs. Our periodontists specialize in individual and full arch dental implants to cater to patients missing some or all of their natural teeth.