Did you know that leaving gaps in your mouth after losing teeth can lead to jawbone deterioration and teeth misalignment?
What are Dental Implants
Each tooth has two parts to it. Above the gum and visible to the naked eye is the crown. Its shape determines its function. Two-thirds of the tooth belongs to the root. This part lies below the gum, embedded in the jawbone. Its purpose is to hold the tooth in place. Before we can replace a missing tooth, we need to create a new anchor for it. Dental implants are metal (titanium) posts that act as artificial dental roots.
Types of Dental Implants
There are two types of dental implants - subperiosteal and endosteal. A subperiosteal implant uses a metal frame fitted on, or above, the jawbone. We use this option when the jawbone cannot hold the implant, and the patient does not want to have any bone augmentation done. An endosteal implant goes directly into the jawbone and is the more common procedure.
Why Should You Get Dental Implants?
Whether trauma, infection, or decay has resulted in tooth loss or if you were born without one, a dental implant is a good idea for several reasons. Dental implants help protect your facial bone and promote healthy teeth, and they prevent changes to the shape of your face. They also prevent bone loss, restore bite force, and enable natural speech.
What to Expect During a Dental Implant Procedure
Dental implant surgery requires multiple visits. Each visit can take one to two hours. At your first visit, we'll conduct a thorough dental evaluation and take x-rays. This exercise determines if your jawbone is strong enough to hold the implant. We'll also take teeth models and use them to prepare the replacement crown.
If your dental examination shows that your jawbone is soft or too thin, we'll first bolster it with a bone graft before installing the implant. This procedure involves placing small pieces of bone at the implantation site. This material comes either from your own body or from a synthetic or natural bone substitute.
Time is then allowed for the implant and the natural bone to unite to facilitate mechanical stability. This process is called osseointegration. It starts a couple of weeks post-implantation and completion takes anywhere from three to nine months. We'll schedule you for regular check-ups at your convenience to determine if the implant is osseointegrated.
Once confirmation of healing is received we will proceed to the next step. It involves incising the gum to insert an abutment. An abutment is a screw that connects the implant to the new crown. Once secured, the gum tissue is then stitched around the screw and left to heal. Healing takes one to two weeks after which, we attach the crown.
To find out if you're a good candidate for dental implants, call the experienced professionals at Northstar Dental at (303) 481-3901 today.