A dental implant is used as a replacement for a missing tooth that has already decayed because of cavities. Dental implants come in two different types: individual and bridge. These implants are shaped like screws and are made of synthetic titanium stubs. They are designed to go well and match with the rest of the natural teeth. They are carefully made to fit inside the jaw by means of surgery , so that an artificial tooth or set of teeth can be attached. Once the implants are already fixed, the crown or the artificial tooth will be added.
Whether a patient has a tooth or a set of teeth missing, the method by which dental implants are attached is the same. As mentioned, minor surgery is needed in order to replace a missing tooth or a set of teeth with dental implants.
Impressions are initially taken by the implant dentist to make sure that the crown to be installed matches the shade of the patient's existing teeth and that the crown looks like a natural tooth.
The jaw bone where the implant is going to be placed is then exposed by cutting open the gum area. Then, a special post is attached to the dental implant once the exposed gum tissue is ready. More specifically, the crown is slid into place and then cemented over the post. The purpose of this post is to provide support to the new porcelain crown.
However, in special cases wherein the bone structure is not enough, implants dentists recommend that a procedure called bone grafting be done. This method, also known as transplanting of the bone tissue, is done to fix damaged bones by repairing or rebuilding them. After healthy bone material has been placed, implant dentists use a special kind of drill to prepare the bone. A dental implant can then be inserted. Once the dental implant has been placed, the gum tissue is sealed. Then, seven days to two weeks after the surgery, the stitches are ready to be removed.
Last is the healing phase which is also called osseointegration. This process usually takes about three to six months. During the healing process, the dental implant which was installed becomes part of the jaw.
Benefits of Dental Implants
By replacing missing teeth, dental implants provide patients with various advantages, such as the improvement of one's speech, bite, and appearance. Thus, once they are installed, they help make patients more comfortable with flashing their beautiful smiles. And though they are more expensive than dentures, dental implants do away with the hassle and inconvenience of putting on and taking off dentures. In addition, they help make it easier for patients to chew and eat. Most importantly, dental implants help improve a patient's self-esteem.
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