What is the Dental Implant Procedure?
Belvidere Dental implants are small cylinders that are implanted into the jaw and support prosthetic teeth. Dental implants are a highly effective, popular dental restoration choice for people who are missing one or more of their adult teeth, providing an attractive and strong long-term solution that acts and looks like healthy natural teeth. Many people who have tried other dental restorations, like removable dentures, prefer the stability and comfort of dental implants. In addition to their cosmetic and functional benefits, dental implants also provide health benefits to patients who opt for this restoration treatment, in that they help maintain the structure of the mouth and the integrity of the bone. Because they also allow patients to comfortably and safely eat a wide variety of foods, dental implants can also help improve the patient’s overall health.
While the entire treatment is usually referred to as dental implant treatment, the dental implant itself is the cylindrical post that is implanted in the jaw. Dental implant posts are made of medical-grade biocompatible material, usually titanium or zirconia, that attracts and encourages bone growth, and, as the implant post heals, the bone that surrounds it fuses with the implant and creates a durable anchor for a dental prosthetic. Once healed, the implant post mimics the root of a natural tooth, supporting a dental crown or other dental prosthetic while continuing to stimulate the health of the bone. The healing time for dental implants is an important part of their success, as it is during healing that the implant and bone fuse together and create a permanent bond.
To determine the health and integrity of the bone, dental implant procedures are preceded by a thorough initial examination that includes x-ray imaging. The dentist will assess the health of the jawbone and consider the number of implants required for the intended restoration. This planning process will usually include other members of the dental implant team, like a periodontist and an oral and maxillofacial surgeon. The dental implant team will review the patient’s medical history and determine whether any medical conditions or medications might affect the likelihood of implant success; in many cases, if medical conditions are managed, patients can still receive dental implants, and, when possible and necessary, medical conditions will be treated before the implant procedure can begin. Once you and your doctor have decided on your anesthesia choice for your procedure, your implant surgery team will provide you with instructions for preparing for the procedure and expectations for the period immediately following the implant surgery.
The overall dental implant procedure includes this examination and preparation of the jaw for implants. If there are still damaged teeth in the mouth, they will be removed. Then, the jaw is prepared for surgery, which may include bone graft surgery if there is insufficient health bone present to support the required number of implants. When bone grafts are part of the procedure, the bone must heal fully before implants can be placed safely. Once the bone is fully prepared, the oral surgeon will make incisions in the gums, removing them from the surgical area and placing the implant into the bone. Once the bone has fused with the implant, which takes anywhere from two to six months in most cases, the surgeon places an attachment fixture, called an abutment, onto the implant, and the gum tissue heals around this implant. Then, the artificial tooth or row of teeth is affixed to the abutment and the dental implant procedure is complete.