What is the Dental Implant Procedure?
Dental implants rockford illinois are the only form of prosthetic teeth available today that truly replace the whole tooth, from roots to crown. This full form of replacement is what makes dental implants so incredibly strong and functional. Because dental implants replace dental roots along with the rest of the tooth, the procedure of creating and installing them is more involved than that of simply making a set of dentures. Read on for more information about this process and all the steps it involves.
Preparing for Dental Implants
Before dental implants can be placed, your dentist will vet your candidacy for implants and talk you through the process as well as any choices that need to be made. An initial appointment will likely include X-rays, which will help your dentist get a sense of the amount of healthy bone mass available in the jaw. This is an important consideration for dental implants as the prosthetic root (also referred to as the implant fixture) requires a baseline amount of healthy bone mass for insertion. If enough healthy bone mass is not present, your dentist may recommend bone grafting before you can be considered a viable candidate for dental implants.
During this visit, your dentist will also ask you questions about any underlying health conditions that you may have. While medical conditions may not affect your ability to get dental implants, it is helpful for your dentist and oral surgeon to know in advance if you are taking certain medications or if you might be more prone to infection so that steps can be taken to prevent complications during or following surgery.
Surgical Placement of Dental Implants
The first step in the procedure of placing dental implants is a surgical one, during which an oral surgeon will open up the gums and insert the dental implant fixture – a small post made of biocompatible titanium – into the hard tissue of the jawbone, where it is then left to heal and fuse for a period of two to four months. Because this fixture is the foundational piece of the dental implant, this is the most important step and also the one that takes the longest.
Once the implant fixture is firmly embedded into the jaw, a connecting piece called an abutment is then attached to it. While the implant fixture remains below the surface of the gums, the top of the abutment juts out above the top of the gumline.
The prosthetic crown or other implant-retained appliance is then attached to the top of the abutment, completing the installation procedure.
Caring for Dental Implants
Once dental implants are complete, aftercare is much like taking care of your natural teeth. Regular brushing, flossing, and biannual trips to the dentist are just as important as ever. While dental implants are strong, they are not meant to serve as tools, so don’t use them that way. Taken care of properly, dental implants can last as long as 25 years, so treat them with care and they’ll brighten your smile for decades to come.