What are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are important to those suffering from tooth loss. The implants are not attached to neighboring teeth, but rather surgically anchored into the jaw. This allows for a more natural looking tooth with the stability and permanency of a real tooth. Dental implants are synthetic structures that occupy the tooth root which allows a replacement tooth or bridge to be attached. There are numerous benefits of using implants. First, they do not rely on neighboring teeth for support. Next, implants are permanent and stable. Finally, if you suffer from tooth loss, they look and feel like natural teeth. When implants are anchored to the jawbone or metal framework on the bone, they act as a foundation in which an artificial tooth or permanent bridge can be attached. Implants can also be used to attach dentures.
Before dental implants were developed, the only alternative to replacing missing teeth was dentures. Proper bone density and a strong immune system are a must in any candidate considering dental implants. Strict oral hygiene is also required for a continued success of a dental implant. Because of these factors, not everyone is a viable candidate.
In order to prepare the area for the dental implant and placement of the implant into the mouth, surgery is necessary. As with any surgery, the period of time following the procedure requires proper healing for the implant to take hold. The bone tissue surrounding the implant must also be built up in order to anchor the device. During a follow-up visit, the dental care provider may decide that additional metal posts need to be inserted into the implant to connect the tooth. During surgery, anesthesia is administered and, if necessary, antibiotics are given after surgery to stave off infection. Diligent oral hygiene is required for the implants and proper care is a must to ensure that your implants last a long time.
Dental implants typically have three parts:
1) The implant: A screw that serves as a root for your new teeth. This is what permanently attaches to your jaw.
2) The abutment: A permanent, but removable by your doctor, connector that supports and holds a tooth or set of teeth.
3) The crown (or prosthetic tooth): This is the part of the tooth that you can see. It’s usually made of zirconium or porcelain for durability and good looks.
How Long Does the Process Take?
Surgery is performed by your dentist in order to anchor the synthetic root into your jaw bone. Since the procedure is performed in the dental office, local anesthesia or IV sedation is used. The implant remains covered by the gum until it fuses with the jaw bone. After fusion occurs, the dentist uncovers the implant and attaches an extension to the implant. These extensions, or posts, are often placed in the mouth as a single unit during the original surgery. Finally, an artificial crown or tooth, made by the dentist, is attached to the post on the implant.
As with any surgery, each patient heals differently. However, on average, the process can take up to nine months to complete with the initial healing process taking up to six months with an additional two to three months needed for the fitting of replacement teeth. Posts and replacement teeth can be fitted in if a patient has good bone quality.
Does Jacksonville Smile Center Offer Dental Implant Procedures?
Our dedicated team at Jacksonville Smile Center will work with implant specialists to create the perfect implant for missing teeth or to replace a removable appliance. Our professionals go all-out to provide a comfortable, efficient and convenient environment. Our doctor listens and responds when you have a dental problem. When you choose Jacksonville Smile Center, you can be guaranteed a dentist who is knowledgeable in his field and can efficiently diagnose and successfully treat any dental need. Our friendly team will counsel you on the most effective ways to improve your smile. We look forward to creating an individualized treatment plan for your particular dental needs.
Source: Premium Tooth Replacement, Deutsche Bank, January 26, 2006