A dental implant is the only oral prosthetic that can last an entire lifetime. An implant is a rod or screw – generally made out of titanium – that dentists place into a person's jawbone. It serves as a replacement for the natural tooth roots that are missing when a tooth is knocked out or falls out.
A crown is placed on the outward-facing end of the implant. This serves as a replacement for the lost tooth. The crown can either be connected directly to the implant or with an abutment. When the process of installing both parts of the implant are complete, the rod can last for an entire lifetime, while the crown can last up to 25 years with proper oral care.
What goes on during dental implant surgery
Here are five things that occur during the process of getting a dental implant:
During the initial appointment, the dentist will evaluate the patient to determine if the person is eligible for implants. Dental implants usually are best for people who have good overall health and adequate jawbone tissue to hold the implant in place. The dentist will perform a visual inspection as well as diagnostic tests like x-rays to get a better idea of how healthy the person's jaw is.
2. Extracting damaged teeth
If the implant is a replacement for a severely damaged tooth, the dentist must remove it before installing the implant. The patient will also have to wait for the site of the extraction to heal.
3. Drilling a hole for the implant
During the installation of implants, the oral surgeon will drill a small hole in the jawbone where the tooth was. The dentist then inserts the implant into this hole, and the surrounding bone tissue holds the device in place.
4. The possible addition of an abutment
Some implants require the use of an abutment while others do not. An abutment is a connector that attaches a crown to the implant. A dentist can mount it the same day of the implant or after osseointegration (the process during which the implant fuses with bone tissue) is complete. If an abutment is needed, it is attached to the external-facing end of the implant.
5. Placing the crown
A crown is what people actually see when a person with an implant smiles. The implant itself is invisible to the eye. Some crowns are screwed on to the implant while others are attached using dental cement. Each type of implant crown has its pros and cons. Crowns are one of the most popular devices that dentists recommend. They can be used directly on a tooth or combined with other prosthetics like implants and bridges.
A dental implant allows you to forget you lost a tooth
When you get a dental implant, you get to replace your lost tooth without making your dental care routine any more complicated. Stop by our Westford office to learn more about replacing missing teeth with implants.
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