How Does Getting a Tooth Implant Work?
A tooth implant can breathe life and beauty back into a gapped smile. It can restore your ability to chew without any hassle and keep the rest of your teeth in their right places. If you are looking to get dental implants, it makes sense for you to learn all you can about them. So read on to find out how they work, how they are fitted and how they can help you.
Important facts about dental implants
Tooth implants are a permanent way to replace missing teeth. Like the root of a natural tooth, an implant forms the anchor that supports the outermost, visible part of an artificial tooth. Also, like the root of a tooth, a dental implant rests in the jawbone, where it gradually fuses with the surrounding bone tissue.
Dental implants are made of several types of material. Most tooth implants are made of titanium, zirconium-coated titanium or zirconium oxide. Traditionally, artificial teeth supported by tooth implants come in three parts:
- The implant: Also known as the post, a tooth implant acts like the root of a natural tooth. It anchors the part of the artificial tooth that rests above the gums
- The abutment: This is a connector that links the implant with the outermost part of the tooth
- The outer tooth: It can be a dental crown, a bridge or even a set of dentures. This is the part of the artificial tooth that is used for chewing, speaking and smiling
Preparing for dental implants
A person with missing or loose teeth will need the all-clear from their dentist before they start the process of getting dental implants. Sometimes the patient will need a bone graft to increase the bone mass in their jaws. In that case, they will undergo bone graft surgery first. If a person has a weak immune system but is otherwise healthy, their dentist will put them on a course of antibiotics before each procedure.
How tooth implants are placed
Placing an artificial tooth can be done in a single procedure, or it can be done in several procedures. Here is how the process goes: After numbing the patient, the dentist will open the gum to expose the jaw. Then they will drill a small hole in the jawbone and place the implant in the hole. They will finish the procedure by suturing the gum.
A few weeks after the implant is placed, the dentist again opens the gums and attaches an abutment to the implant. By this time, bone tissue will have grown around the implant. When the gums have healed the second time, the dentist connects the dental crown, bridge or dentures to the abutment.
Sometimes, a dentist will combine two or all three procedures into a single surgery. When all three steps are done in a single surgery, the procedure is known as same-day implant surgery.
Get yourself a healthy, amazing smile with tooth implants
Implant supported crowns and dentures are a great way to replace missing teeth. They do not slip when you chew and are meant to last a lifetime. In addition, implants stimulate the regeneration of the jawbone, which helps to keep your jaw and facial structure healthy.
If you want to get your teeth back in proper shape, call us or visit our San Antonio office. We will give you the dental care that you need.
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