A dental implant is an artificial tooth “root.” They are usually made of titanium, and resemble a tooth or group of teeth and are used to replace missing teeth. Dental implants are a great alternative to removable dentures. They are secure, stable, and last for many years.
People choose dental implants for many reasons. Some include replacing a tooth or teeth; supporting a bridge or denture; maintaining the underlying bone from resorbing; resolving bite problems; restoring chewing, speech; restoring digestion; restoring smile and facial tissues.
The implant process requires several visits. The first is to take x-rays and impressions to determine tooth spacing, type of bone available to hold the implant, and gum tissue. After all the preliminary work is finished, a second appointment is made to place the implant surgically. Under anesthesia, the implant is positioned in the bone. It takes about six months to heal and allow the bone to integrate with the implant. Once stable, it is ready to have a post or abutment screwed into the implant — which will hold the crown. An impression is made of the abutment and sent to the lab to fabricate the crown. During the final appointment, we place the crown and give you care instructions. Good oral hygiene and habits, along with routine dental visits, will help in the longevity of dental implants. On occasion, they may need to be re-tightened or replaced.