For patients who have lost all of their teeth, learning about the dental implant and overdenture procedure can be essential. Whether you have lost teeth in the upper jaw, lower jaw or both, this process can improve your overall quality of life.What many people do not understand is how to determine if they are a…
How are Dental Implants Placed?
Dentists offer a wide range of services including teeth removal, cleanings, fillings, and orthodontics. Another procedure offered by dentists are dental implants placement. Dental implants give patients the beautiful smile that they desire all while having the look and feel of natural teeth.
What are dental implants?
Dental implants can be considered as replacement tooth roots. They act as foundations for already existing teeth and artificial ones. They are also a better alternative to dentures and bridgework as teeth are not anchored to other teeth. Therefore, adjacent teeth do not need to be altered to accommodate a dental implant.
Who should get dental implants?
Dental implants are for persons who:
- Have healthy gums
- Are tired of the drawbacks of dentures, bridgework or who simply do not want them
- Have at least one missing tooth
- Have a fully grown jawbone
- Have the required or adequate bone needed to secure the implant or are able to have a bone graft
How are dental implants placed?
Before one can even get dental implants, a doctor will do a comprehensive dental exam consisting of X-rays and models of the teeth and mouth. From there, a personalized treatment is created.
On the day of surgery, the patient will receive a local anesthetic to numb the area and ease the pain. The damaged tooth/teeth are removed and the jawbone will be prepped for surgery. (This may involve bone grafting and happens if the patient’s jawbone is too thick or too soft to properly support the implant. The doctor will have to fix it by either removing or adding bone from another part of the body or using artificial bone.)
Afterward, a small incision is made in the gum to expose the bone. The titanium implant is carefully but securely placed using special instruments. This procedure lasts from anywhere between a half hour to even three hours depending on the number of implants being placed. At this time, the top part of the implant is still visible and the patient may opt to receive temporary dentures for appearance purposes.
After surgery, a process called osseointegration begins. This is where the jawbone heals and grows around the implant, properly anchoring it into the jaw. This takes a few months and healing time varies from person to person. Swelling, bleeding, and pain are all common post-surgery experiences but will stop after a few weeks. Post surgery check-ups are recommended to ensure that the jawbone is healing properly and that the implants are behaving as they should.
Getting the crown
After the healing process is complete, the patient will have to go in for minor abutment surgery. The abutment is where the crown of the tooth will attach and after about a two week healing period, impressions of the other teeth are made in order to create new artificial teeth. Patients can choose between fixed or removable artificial teeth, based on their individual budget and the recommendations of the doctor.
If you are insecure about your teeth, this procedure might be for you. Contact your dentist and ask about dental implant placement today!
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