Missing teeth can make you self-conscious, alter the shape of your face, and cause bite misalignment. ‘What are dental implants? is a question we often hear at our practice when patients are considering their missing tooth replacement options. 

Dental implants can also be a good option for those unhappy with uncomfortable dentures or bridge work. But what are dental implants, and what does the dental implant procedure involve?

 

What Are Dental Implants?

A dental implant is a permanent replacement for a missing tooth or teeth.  There are three parts to a dental implant: the implant post, an abutment that connects the implant to the replacement tooth, and the dental crown, which sits above the gum line and looks like a natural tooth.

A common question is also what are dental implants used for? Dental implants can be used to replace just one tooth, or they can be used as a base for an artificial bridge to replace several teeth. An implant-supported denture replaces all the teeth in the jaw and is supported and secured with four or six dental implants

 

 

There are two general types of dental implants used: endosteal and subperiosteal.

 

Endosteal

Endosteal (in the bone) implants are the most common type of dental implant. They are surgically inserted deep into holes drilled into the jawbone and take the place of a tooth’s root.

 

Subperiosteal

Subperiosteal (on the bone) dental implants rest on top of the jawbone rather than being drilled into it. This type of dental implant is used when there is not enough healthy jawbone to support a traditional endosteal implant.

 

The Dental Implant Procedure

Dental implant surgery can take between three months and a year. The implant procedure is accomplished in several stages:

 

Evaluation

During the first step of the implant procedure, you’ll get a consultation at your local dental clinic, and your dentist will give you a thorough oral examination. 

Your dentist uses digital imaging to determine the health of your teeth, gums, and jaw, plan the stages of your treatment and how to best position the dental implant. Your dentist also determines whether any additional procedures, such as bone grafting, are needed to ensure the success of your dental implants.

 

Tissue grafting

Gum recession affects 4% to 12% of adults and leads to the exposure of the base and roots of the teeth. If left untreated, gum recession can cause tooth loss and bone loss in the jaw. Because this condition can seriously impact the success of the implant process, gum grafting is sometimes necessary before the dental implant procedure.

Bone grafts are sometimes needed before the implant procedure to ensure there is enough bone density to support the implant. 

 

Dental implant placement

A small incision is made in the gum to expose the jawbone and drill the hole so the implant can be placed. The implant is then screwed into the bone, and the gum tissue is sutured closed to begin the healing process.

Abutments can be placed during the initial implant surgery, but depending on your treatment plan, your dentist may need to perform another minor surgery to place an abutment. This surgery takes about two weeks to heal.

 

procedure treatment teeth implants croydonOsseointegration

Osseointegration refers to the process by which the bone tissue fuses to the implant post. Once the dental implants are placed, the jawbone knits and heals around the post, holding it secure, and fusing the titanium implant to the bone.

The process of osseointegration can take anywhere from two to six to twelve weeks, and your dentist may recommend you eat a non-chew diet after your surgery to let the site heal. Other aftercare instructions may include resting and sleeping with your head elevated, avoiding strenuous exercise, and using saline rinses to avoid infection.

 

Replacement tooth

A dental crown, custom bridges, or dentures will be made to connect with the dental implants as the final stage of the implant procedure. At Dental Spot, we custom fabricate crowns on-site, so that you spend less time in dental surgery and achieve a new smile sooner. 

 

Are Dental Implants Right For You?

Getting a dental consultation near you can help you determine if you’re a good candidate for dental implants, and finding a dentist that offers a consultation near you is easy when you choose Dental Spot

The full-service, family dentists at Dental Spot take the time to listen to your specific needs in a spacious, modern clinic designed for your comfort. Call us today on (02) 9158 6115 to schedule your appointment. 

 

 

Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.

 

 

 

References

What is a dental implant?
https://www.teeth.org.au/dental-implants

Dental implant procedure
https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/dental-implant

Implants
https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/i/implants

Everything to Know About a Dental Implant Procedure
https://www.healthline.com/health/dental-and-oral-health/dental-implant-procedure

Endosteal Implants — Are They Right for You?
https://www.healthline.com/health/endosteal-implant

Gum Tissue Grafts
https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/guide/gum-tissue-graft-surgery

Bone Graft
https://www.healthline.com/health/bone-graft

 

 

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