It is never fun to lose a tooth as an adult. In addition to being painful, it leaves an unappealing gap in your teeth which might affect how you chew or smile. The good news, however, is that thanks to dental implants, you no longer have to suffer as a result of a lost tooth. Dental implants are a highly effective and long-lasting treatment option for missing teeth, and unlike dentures and bridges, they look and feel very natural in your mouth. If you’re looking to get dental implants, below is an in-depth guide to all you need to know about the treatment.
What are dental implants?
Dental implants are a form of prosthesis used for the replacement of missing teeth. The implant is placed into the jawbone and allowed to fuse with it over a time period (usually a few months). Dental implants are of two major types, namely, endosteal and subperiosteal. In endosteal dental implants, bone is taken from a part of the face where the jawbone has been compromised or removed due to tooth extraction and the surrounding tissue is allowed to grow around the new titanium implant that is fixed into the bone.
With subperiosteal dental implants, the implants are surgically placed on the jawbone and bone from other parts of the face is used to support the crown at about 2mm above the gum line.
Dental implant components
A dental implant has three major components; the implant, the abutment and the dental crown. The ‘implant’, also known as the ‘artificial tooth root’, is the surgical component that is inserted into your jawbone during the first step of the procedure. It is not a visible component, and it is usually made of a titanium alloy or zirconia.
The abutment serves as the connector component and is placed on top of the implant. Its function is to act as a bridge between the implant and dental crown.
The final component, which is the visible replacement tooth, is known as the dental crown. They are usually made from either porcelain or dental resin and are usually very identical to natural teeth. Usually, your dentist will custom-make the dental crown to match the natural shape and colour of the rest of your teeth.
The dental implant procedure
The first step is to schedule a consultation with a reliable local dental implant Sutton practice like Sherwood Park Dental Practice where your dentist will carry out an oral exam (including X-rays and scans of your mouth); take a record of your medical history in order to create a bespoke treatment plan for you and proceed to explain the procedure to you (including costs and a time-frame for healing).
After your consultation, the next step is the implant placement. A local anaesthetic is used to numb the area where the implant is to be placed before the implant is fixed. Once the implant is in place, the area is stitched closed with dissolvable stitches or covered with a cap. At this point, your dentist will give you instructions on how long your gum will need to heal and adhere to the newly placed implant.
This waiting period (osseointegration) usually lasts between 3-6 months, and you will need regular check-ups with your dentist to ensure you are healing well. Once your healing rate is satisfactory to your dentist, they will fit in the abutments, after which a few more weeks are allowed for healing.
The final stage is done once your abutments have healed up properly. The dental crown, which would have been crafted beforehand using an impression of your teeth or 3D technology, will be placed on top of the implant.
Where to get dental implants
Fixing dental implants is a complex procedure that requires skill and experience, which can only be gotten from qualified and professional dentists. Sherwood Park Dental Practice has a team of experts who are highly experienced in placing and restoring dental implants. On the plus side, if you are anxious about the procedure, our dental team also provides sedation services to ensure that you have a pleasant experience.
Gone are the days when you have to chew, talk or smile awkwardly because of missing teeth. With dental implants, you can easily restore your smile and improve your self-esteem. Hopefully, this article has been able to shed some light on some of the questions you might have about the treatment.