If you want a replacement for a missing tooth but don’t want to settle for the flimsy dental bridges and don’t like the sound of getting dentures either, then you might be interested in dental implants. Dental implants provide not just realistic replacements for missing teeth but also restore the lost functions.
How does this procedure work?
Dental implants work because of the process of osteointegration or the fusing of the dental implant to the jawbone. There is only one metal which allows for this process to happen, and that is titanium. For that reason, dentists make use of titanium dental implants. The incorporation of the dental implant to the bone makes the replacement tooth stronger and even permanent for as long as the patient maintains good dental health.
How is the procedure done?
Pre-procedure. Before your dentist can get started with the procedure, he or she will have to check the health status of your gums and jawbones, which may involve asking for x-rays and CT-scans. If you do not have enough bone tissue to anchor the titanium dental implant, you may have to opt for bone grafts before you can become a likely candidate for dental implants.
First phase. Patients who have the all-go for dental implants can then go for the first phase of the procedure. This involves cutting out the section of the gums where the implant will go in. This patch is lifted out, exposing the jawbone which will then be drilled. The hole is where the dental implant will go in. Once the implant has been secured within the jawbone, the gum tissue is stitched back into place and the entire area is allowed to heal naturally.
Second phase. When the dental implant has healed, the dentist can start with the second phase of the procedure. The gum tissue is cut and lifted back out again, and a rod is attached to the dental implant. This rod will serve as the holder for the crown. However, until the rod and dental implant complex hasn’t healed yet, the dentist will only place a temporary crown.
Third phase. Four to six weeks after the second phase, or until the entire implant heals, the dentist can attach the permanent crown and the procedure is completed.
The entire procedure is invasive which means that local anaesthetics will have to be used. However, patients with dental anxiety can also opt for sedatives.
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