What is a dental implant?
A dental implant is a permanent, fixed tooth replacement option that involves the surgical placement of a titanium screw within the jaw. The screw, once integrated, will support a dental prosthesis (implant crown). The implant appears and acts as a natural tooth preventing bone loss around the area and stopping the adjacent teeth from drifting into space where the tooth used to fill.
What is involved in a dental implant procedure?
Dental implant surgery requires a sterile environment prepared meticulously by experienced dental assistants, this significantly reduces the risk of complications such as infection following the placement of a dental implant. Every instrument used by
the dentist and dental assistant must be sterilised prior to the procedure and placed in a sterile field for the surgery. During the procedure, the dentist will prepare the area for the placement of the dental implant with a series of small drills, this may also involve placing a bone graft if there is not sufficient bone for the titanium screw to integrate and stabilise.
Can anyone get a dental implant?
In order to be assessed for a dental implant, the dentist must take a CT scan to check the bone density, space for the implant to fit, where the sinus is in the top jaw and the inferior alveolar nerve is in the lower jaw. There are additional steps the dentist can take to prepare you for an implant such as bone grafting, sinus lift or even orthodontics.
What happens after the implant is placed?
Once the dental implant has been placed, your body is allowed time to recover and heal, during this period, the titanium screw
integrates within your jaw (this is a biologic process called osseo integration in which materials such as titanium form an intimate bond to bone) and gradually becomes more stable. The dentist may place some sutures in the gum around the implant to protect it and any bone graft that has been done, for this reason, it is recommended that patients take a day or two to relax following implants surgery.
When can the crown be placed?
Although healing time may vary from person to person, healing is monitored with digital x-rays and assessed using a ‘torque
test’ at a time when it appears stable on a digital x-ray, once the titanium screw is strong enough to support an implant crown, the final phase (restoration stage) can begin. This involves taking impressions of your upper and lower jaw so the implant crown can be fabricated to fit the space perfectly. Not only does it fill the space, but it also meets perfectly with your gum, the contacts of the tooth/teeth on either side and the implant and the tooth/teeth on the opposite jaw that will meet
the implant crown on biting. Implants have been developed to be the strongest and most reliable long term tooth replacement option and can be used to replace a single tooth or can even be utilised to replace an entire arch of missing teeth.
So what are you waiting for? Contact us at Weston Dentistry today to learn more about Dental Implants.