Dental Implant Procedure
Dentist Charlotte, NC
Dental implants refer to replacing the root of teeth with screw-like metal posts or fixtures. They allow dentists to replace missing or damaged teeth with artificial prosthetic ones. They look and function like natural teeth, enhance your appearance, and improve your ability to chew and bite. Dental implant surgery is a safe and reliable alternative to bridgework or dentures in cases when your natural teeth roots do not allow bridgework tooth replacement or building dentures.
The dental implant procedure depends on the condition of your jawbone and the type of dental implant. It involves several steps, as the bone requires time to heal completely around the implant, and this is why dental implant procedures can take months to complete.
Types of Dental Implants
There are two types of implants. Endosteal implants are the most common and are placed surgically deep inside the jawbone.
Subperiosteal implants are not drilled inside the jawbone. Instead, they are placed above the bone, under the gum.
Step 1: Evaluation
Your jawbone, gums, and teeth are evaluated to determine whether they are healthy enough to support an implant. A bone graft may be required if your jawbone is too soft. Your dentist will also check for gum disease, such as periodontal disease. The number of teeth to be replaced by dental implants is planned, and the procedure scope is determined appropriately.
Step 2: Insertion of Implant
An endosteal implant will require the oral surgeon to cut open the gum to expose the jawbone. Then holes are drilled in the bone so implant posts can be inserted. Subperiosteal implants do not require drilling of bone, as the implant will be placed above it. Since implants affect the gums and jawbone, you should expect some swelling and minor pain for several days.
Step 3: Process of Osseointegration
After placing dental implants, two to six months are required for the bone to heal and grow around the implant. Combining the dental implant with the bone is called osseointegration. This process allows the jawbone to strengthen and support the dental implant, to keep it in place and function properly as artificial tooth roots.
Step 4: Abutment
The abutment is an extended metal connector that connects the implant to the replacement tooth. During the second procedure of dental implant surgery, the healing cap is removed to place the abutment onto the dental implant. After that, the gum is allowed to heal for several weeks.
Step 5: Tooth Placement
Once the healing is complete, fixed or removable replacement teeth are fitted. Artificial teeth look and feel like natural teeth, and you need to take care of their cleaning and hygiene like your natural teeth.
Regular Dental Checkups
Dental implant procedures are successful in most cases, except when the bone fails to fuse with the implant. In that case, the implant is removed, and the whole procedure may be repeated after about three months. Regular dental checkups are necessary to avoid any complications and to ensure the proper functioning and health of your dental implants.
Learn More About the Dental Implant Procedure
Call us now at (704) 332-2532 to schedule a consultation and find out if dental implants are safe for you. At Myers Park Dental Partners, Dr. Allen and Dr. Crystal provide excellent dental care in a comfortable environment, and help you achieve the smile that you deserve.