A dental implant is a restorative dental procedure used to replace missing teeth. It involves surgically placing a metal post (typically made of titanium) into the jawbone to serve as an artificial tooth root. This post fuses with the surrounding bone in a process called osseointegration, which provides a stable and durable foundation for a replacement tooth or crown.
The dental implant procedure typically involves several steps:
Consultation and Examination: The first step is to consult with a dentist or oral surgeon who specializes in dental implants. They will examine your oral health, review your medical history, and take X-rays or 3D scans of your mouth and jawbone to determine if you are a suitable candidate for dental implants.
Implant Placement: During the surgical procedure, the dentist or oral surgeon will make an incision in the gum tissue to expose the jawbone. They will then drill a small hole in the bone and place the implant post securely. The gum tissue is then stitched back into place, and the healing process begins.
Osseointegration: Over the next several weeks to months, the implant fuses with the jawbone through a process called osseointegration. This integration is crucial for the implant’s stability and longevity.
Abutment Placement: Once osseointegration is complete, a small connector called an abutment is attached to the implant post. The abutment protrudes from the gumline and acts as a support for the replacement tooth.
Dental Crown Attachment: Finally, a custom-made dental crown is attached to the abutment, completing the dental implant process. The crown is designed to match the color, shape, and size of your natural teeth, providing a natural and functional replacement.
Dental implants offer numerous benefits, including improved appearance, better oral function, enhanced speech, and increased confidence. They also help prevent bone loss in the jaw, which can occur when a tooth is missing.