What are Dental Implants?
A dental implant is an artificial tooth root that provides an anchor for an artificial tooth (a crown). Unlike dentures or dental bridges, implants involve surgically placing one or more artificial tooth roots into the jawbone. Implants are so well designed that they mimic the look and feel of natural teeth.
Implants are synthetic structures placed in the area of the tooth normally occupied by the root. They are usually made of biocompatible material like titanium or ceramic. The implants are anchored to the jawbone and act as a foundation for an artificial tooth or permanent bridge. In some cases, implants can be used to attach dentures.
Surgery is necessary to prepare the area for an implant and place the implant in the mouth. Following the procedure, a period of time is required for the implant to take hold and for bone tissue to build up and anchor the device. In some cases, metal posts are inserted into the implant during a follow-up procedure to connect the tooth. Because implants require surgery, patients are administered anesthesia and, if necessary, antibiotics to stave off infection following the procedure.
Dr. Lou can determine if you are a candidate for a dental implant. For a successful implant to take hold, a candidate must have proper bone density and a strong immune system. Like any restoration, implants require diligent oral hygiene and proper care to ensure they last a long time.
Advantages of Dental Implants
There are other alternatives to replace missing teeth, such as dental bridges or dentures. However, implants have several advantages over other techniques:
Dental implants are secure and durable
They replace the tooth root as well as the tooth, preventing any bone resorption (shrinking)
Implant crowns look like natural teeth – no one but you will ever know the difference
The crowns can be cleaned and cared for much like natural teeth
Other teeth are not disturbed in the process of placing implants
With proper care, they will last the rest of your life
Dental implants are metal anchors that act as tooth root substitutes. They are surgically placed into the jawbone. Small posts are then attached to the implant which protrudes through the gums. These posts provide stable anchors for artificial replacement teeth.
For most patients, the placement of dental implants involves two surgical procedures. First, implants are placed within your jawbone. For the first three to six months following surgery, the implants are beneath the surface of the gums gradually bonding with the jawbone. You should be able to wear temporary dentures and eat a soft diet during this time. At the same time, our office designs the final bridgework or denture, which will ultimately improve both function and esthetics.
After the implant has bonded to the jawbone, the second phase begins. Dr. Lou will uncover the implants and attach a small healing collar. Then she will begin making your new teeth. An impression must be taken then posts or attachments can be connected to the implants. The teeth replacements are then made over the posts or attachments. The entire procedure usually takes six to eight months. Most patients do not experience any disruption in their daily life.
Implant and Crown Placement
Dental implants are placed into the bone in a relatively pain-free procedure. The bone and gums will be given time to heal
before an abutment and crown are attached. In most cases, you can receive a temporary crown the same day the implant is installed.
Your final crown will be placed to restore your natural smile!