Dental implants are the best option dentistry has for replacing missing teeth. This is because implants are the only option that replaces the root of the tooth, which can prevent and even reverse bone loss. By preserving the jaw bone structure, patients are left with a stronger bite and facial collapse is avoided.
The term “dental implants” is often used as a catch-all, but the implants are actually only the titanium posts that are implanted into the jaw. Abutments are then attached to the implants, and these abutments are used to hold your new teeth in place.
If you’re considering dental implants, you might wonder what the procedure entails. Although every patient’s experience is slightly different, here’s what you can expect for a single-tooth implant procedure.
The first step to getting dental implants is a consultation appointment. During this visit, we will discuss what your goals are for treatment and determine whether you are an appropriate candidate for dental implant surgery. This involves an oral exam, going over the details of your medical history, and taking imaging so we can create a 3D model of your teeth and jaw. Imaging helps us determine the placement of your implants, design your crown, and assess whether you have sufficient bone density in the jaw to support implants.
If you have lost bone mass in your jaw, mini dental implants may be used as an alternative to standard implants. Bone grafting, too, may be used to rebuild your jaw prior to your surgery.
Assuming that bone grafts are not needed, the next step in the process is the placement of the dental implants. This is a surgical procedure that involves placing the implants into your jaw bone through a small incision in the gum tissue, then stitching the gums closed. If the work you need is extensive, we can provide sedation or general anesthesia. Otherwise, a local anesthetic will be injected near the surgical site to ensure that you don’t feel any pain while we work.
Osseointegration is the most important part of the dental implant process—and it’s a step that doesn’t even happen in our office! Osseointegration is when your dental implants and jaw bone fuse together, creating a secure base for your replacement teeth. It’s important not to rush this step; it can take several months, but without proper osseointegration, your implants are more likely to fail.
Abutment and Crown Attachment
Abutments are titanium pieces that are attached to your dental implants above the gum line to anchor your new teeth. After we place your abutment, we will take impressions of your mouth so a custom-made crown can be fabricated for you at a dental laboratory.
Your crown is made by a professional technician who carefully matches the color, shape, and size of your natural teeth, ensuring that it blends in with the rest of your smile. After your permanent crown is in place, your new tooth will look and function just like the real thing. With proper care, you can expect dental implants to last a lifetime.
Taking care of your restorations is as easy as brushing for two minutes, twice a day, flossing once a day, and going to the dentist every six months for oral exams and cleanings.
Learn More About Dental Implants
If you would like more information about dental implants, contact us at 203-775-2225 to schedule an appointment at our Brookfield, CT office.