Dental implants are metal anchors, which act as tooth root substitutes. They are surgically placed into the jaw bone. The bone bonds with the titanium, creating a strong foundation for artificial replacement teeth.
Your dentist will determine whether you have enough bone to support an implant. If not, a bone graft may be needed. In this article, we will explore dental implants procedure step by step.
In cases where there is not enough bone to support an implant, a dental professional may recommend a bone graft. This procedure involves transplanting a piece of bone from another area of the mouth, the hip, or chin to where it is needed. The grafted bone material will then encourage new bone growth, thereby creating a firm foundation for an implant to bond with.
During this surgery, you will receive general anesthesia to ensure that you do not feel any discomfort. To protect the implant site from infection, a membrane is typically placed over it after the graft is completed. It is normal for the gums and face to feel sore after this type of procedure, but this can be managed with ibuprofen or paracetamol according to the directions from your dentist.
The bone graft material may be sourced from synthetic sources, your own bone (autogenous), or processed cadaver bone. This bone is then injected into the jaw using a large syringe. The graft is then covered with a barrier membrane. It is usually necessary to wait six months before an implant can be placed, to ensure that the graft has fully healed.
In addition to enhancing the stability of your jaw, a bone graft can help to correct defects in the face caused by missing or extracted teeth. This can include shifting of the gum line, a sunken facial appearance, and changes in the shape of the ridge. The graft can also prevent jaw atrophy by replacing the bone cells that are lost as a result of tooth loss, making it easier for the implant post to bond with it. This process is called osseointegration.
When missing teeth are replaced by dental implants, they preserve the natural spacing of surrounding teeth and provide improved chewing strength. They can also help to prevent the neighboring teeth from shifting and stretching into the vacant tooth space, which could eventually require the patient to wear a denture.
A patient who opts for implant restorations must first meet with a dentist who specializes in this procedure. During the initial consultation, the dentist will take X-rays and impressions (molds) of the mouth to determine bone and gum tissue availability for an implant. A CT scan of the mouth may also be required to identify structures like nerves and sinuses that should be avoided during surgery.
If the dentist deems the patient is a good candidate for an implant, he or she will explain the benefits and risks of this treatment. Patients should be aware that there is a recovery period after dental implants, and it’s important to follow the surgeon’s recommendations for a successful outcome. Patients should also be aware that smoking can interfere with the healing process, and it’s important to quit prior to surgery.
The surgical site will be numbed with local anesthesia, and the dentist will make a small incision in the gums. A hole is then made in the jawbone, and the implant stud or post is placed into this opening. A suture may be used to close the incision. Following the procedure, patients can expect some swelling and discomfort, which is typically managed with prescription or over-the-counter pain relievers. Some bruising is also normal, and it should fade within 10 days. If a patient experiences complications after surgery, it’s important to contact the dentist immediately for guidance.
Dental implants provide a foundation for replacement teeth that look, feel, and function like natural teeth. They also preserve facial structure, preventing the bone deterioration that occurs when a tooth is lost. Generally, any patient in good health can receive an implant. However, patients with uncontrolled chronic disorders (such as diabetes or heart disease) or who smoke are at a greater risk for complications.
Before placing the implant, your dentist will do a comprehensive examination of your mouth, including taking dental x-rays and making impressions of your gums and existing teeth. This information will help determine if you have enough healthy bone to support an implant, and whether or not you need to undergo a bone graft. A CT scan of your jaw may also be required, as this will help locate important structures such as nerves and sinuses that should be avoided during surgery.
During the actual implant placement procedure, your oral surgeon will make an incision in your gum tissue to expose the bone. A metal post is then anchored to the bone by drilling holes and screwing it into place. The area will be sutured and allowed to heal for about six months, during which time it will essentially fuse with the jaw bone — a process known as osseointegration.
During this healing period, you will experience swelling, bruising and minor pain, which should fade as the area heals. If necessary, your dentist can give you prescription or over-the-counter pain medication to manage these symptoms. It is also advisable to stick with a soft foods diet while the area heals, as hard or sticky food can disrupt the healing process. Keeping up with your regular cleaning and brushing routine is also very important, as this will keep the surrounding teeth and gums healthy.
Dental implants replace missing teeth and help prevent bone loss in the jaw. They can be used to support fixed bridges or removable dentures and are a great option for people who have lost teeth due to periodontal (gum) disease, an accident or tooth decay. Implants are also a more stable alternative to traditional dentures. They look, feel and function like natural teeth.
The first step is a comprehensive dental exam to determine if you’re a candidate for dental implants. This will include a visual examination of your mouth, X-rays or 3D images and models of your teeth and jaw. This information is then used to create a treatment plan that’s unique to your needs. Your dental team may include doctors who specialize in conditions of the mouth, jaw and face (oral and maxillofacial surgeons), dentists who treat the structures that support the teeth (periodontists) or dentists who design and fit artificial teeth (prosthodontists).
Before placing your implant, any withered or dead teeth need to be extracted. This is done under local anesthesia.
Next, the implant site is prepped. This might include bone grafting to give the post enough space to anchor itself to the jawbone. The implant site may also need to be treated for conditions that interfere with healing, such as uncontrolled diabetes, long-term steroid use and some neurological conditions.
After the implant integrates with your bone — a process called osseointegration — a small connector post, known as an abutment, is placed on top of it. The abutment is then covered with a replacement tooth or teeth, which are crafted from impressions and models of your bite. The replacement teeth can be cemented or screwed onto the abutment, depending on your preference and the type of replacement you have.
A bridge is an alternative to an implant that uses the adjacent teeth to support a missing tooth. This tooth replacement solution can be used for a single missing tooth, or multiple missing teeth in the upper or lower jaw. It can also improve bite force distribution and help to maintain the shape of the face and smile. Dental implants, however, are considered the gold standard in replacement tooth technology and have several advantages over traditional bridges.
Dental implants are made from biocompatible materials that fuse with the jaw bone, providing a strong foundation for the replacement tooth. This provides a stable, durable base for the crown that looks and feels like a natural tooth, and they are highly resistant to gum disease. In addition, they don’t require removal for cleaning and can be cared for just like your natural teeth.
In the long run, dental implants are a more cost-effective alternative to other tooth replacement options, such as a dental bridge or dentures. They prevent the bone loss that occurs when teeth are missing and allow for the restoration of a more natural bite, making it possible to enjoy a wide variety of foods without restrictions.
If you are considering dental implants, the team at Jenkins Dental in Coventry can evaluate your candidacy for this procedure. We will determine if you have enough healthy bone to support an implant, as well as discuss your general oral health and lifestyle. We offer a comprehensive maintenance plan that includes hygiene, periodontal treatment and other gum therapies to ensure your implant has a high success rate. Contact us today to schedule a consultation!