The process of replacing missing teeth with dental implants has certainly improved and become more precise over recent years. Through technological advancements targeting greater precision and more predictable outcomes, the dental implant procedure has evolved to one of the most practiced, revolutionized services in dentistry today. Dental implants can be used to replace a single missing tooth, several missing teeth or an entire arch of teeth.
Phase One: There are many different methods of performing dental implant surgery, depending upon the type of dental implant procedure occurring and the health of the underlying bone. Though the entire dental implant treatment plan may be carried out in phases, each case begins with careful planning followed by surgical placement of the implant post within the jaw bone. Diagnostic images of the teeth, jaw bone and other oral structures are studied in great detail during the planning phase. For many dental implant surgery procedures, sufficient bone height and density must be present to support the implant post and its prosthesis. If bone loss has occurred to the point of significant deficiency, bone grafting procedures may be integrated into the treatment plan.
Phase Two: Once the missing tooth site is deemed healthy enough to support a dental implant, surgery can begin. The area is anesthetized to provide great comfort for the patient. A small opening is made first in the gum and then the bone tissue, the latter of which is prepared by creating space for the implant post. Lasers or other handpieces may be used to prepare the surgical site for implant placement. The dentist then gently positions the post into the newly prepared bone socket, covering it by either suturing the gum tissue or placing a special cap called a healing abutment.
Phase Three: The implant post is given time to fully integrate with the surrounding bone tissue, which typically takes around three to six months. When solidly integrated with the jaw bone, the implant can be uncovered, or the healing abutment removed, and topped with a permanent abutment and implant crown or other prosthetic. Depending on the individual case and health of the bone and gum tissue, the dental professional may wait to place the prosthetic until the tissue has fully healed around the permanent abutment.
Dental implants are revered as the best method for replacing missing teeth today. When tooth loss occurs, or extraction is necessary, ask your dentist if a dental implant procedure is the tooth replacement solution for you.
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