A Patient’s Guide to The Dental Implant Procedure
If you’re missing a tooth, depending on various factors, such as the strength of your jawbone, you may be a good candidate for dental implants. A dental implant itself is actually a titanium rod that replaces the root of a real tooth. After being inserted into the jawbone and fusing with it, a dental implant can be covered with a durable crown that mimics the appearance of a natural tooth.
Are you considering this treatment option? If so, the following points will help you better understand what the process may involve:
Determining if Dental Implants Are Right for You
There are various ways to replace missing teeth. This is important to keep in mind, as not all patients are candidates for dental implant treatment.
To determine if dental implants are right for you, a professional may take x-rays and perform a general examination of your teeth, gums, and jawbone to evaluate their overall condition. Their goal is to determine if the strength of your jawbone and the health of your dental and oral tissues can support an implant.
Determining if Tooth Extraction is Necessary
Dental implant treatment isn’t exclusively for teeth that are already missing. In some cases, a tooth that is severely damaged or decaying may need to be extracted first in order to be replaced with an implant. If this is the case, naturally, the extraction will add to the length of the treatment. The site where a tooth was extracted will also need to heal before an implant can be placed there.
Placing the Implant
Implant insertion is a surgical procedure in which a titanium post is placed into the jawbone. Ideally, the rod will fuse with the bone after a certain length of time. Sometimes, while the implant is fusing with the bone, a patient can wear a temporary crown.
It usually takes three to six months for a dental implant to fuse with a patient’s jawbone. However, this timeline can vary on a patient-by-patient basis.
Placing the Abutment
An abutment is an additional metal post that connects the crown and the implant. It may be placed onto the implant itself once the implant has fused with the jawbone.
Placing the Crown
A permanent crown is a custom-made replica of an actual tooth. Along with looking like a healthy tooth, it essentially functions like one.
This highlights one of the many benefits of dental implant treatment. By replacing a missing tooth with a dental implant, a patient will typically be able to perform such basic tasks as chewing and speaking essentially just as easily as they could as if they had all their natural teeth. With proper care, a dental implant can also stay in good condition for many years.
The crown portion of the implant is placed on the parts of the implant that have already been inserted into a patient’s mouth. After this final step is complete, a dentist will provide a patient with instructions for caring for a dental implant, information about the side effects they may experience in the days and weeks after the surgery, and details about follow-up appointments.
Take this opportunity to ask your dentist any questions you may have about everything from addressing potential side effects to maintaining your implant. They’ll gladly explain everything you need to know.
Just remember, dental implants aren’t for everyone, and there are other ways to replace missing teeth if dental implant treatment isn’t an option. By consulting with a qualified dental professional, you’ll be able to determine which option is ideal for your needs.
Speak With an Expert About Dental Implants
At Leading Edge Specialized Dentistry, in New York and New Jersey, we’d be happy to answer your questions about dental implants, helping you determine if this is the best treatment option for your needs. Get started today by contacting us online or calling us at 631-351-3444 to schedule an appointment.