A dental implant is one of the greatest dental treatments for replacing missing teeth. Dental implants, as opposed to alternative tooth replacements such as single tooth crowns or bridges, are cemented into your jawbone and serve as a supportive anchor for replacement teeth that look, feel, and appear like your original teeth.
When Is This Appropriate
People who are missing one or more teeth can benefit from implants, particularly single-tooth implants. It is typically used by those who have lost teeth and want a more permanent teeth restoration treatment than dentures or a dental bridge. It’s also utilized to replace lost teeth with bone supports that have deteriorated as a result of periodontal disease.
Extraction: If your withering or dead tooth has not yet been pulled, it should be extracted in order for your dental implant post to be placed. Naturally, an implant can be placed where a tooth still exists. Alternatively, you can save the tooth using endodontic therapy or a root canal treatment.
Preparation: Your jaw will then be prepared for surgery. You may also require bone augmentation via bone transplants to provide the post with enough bone and space to secure itself to your jaw. The implant will not adhere if there is insufficient bone to embed it in.
Surgical Insertion: The implant is surgically put into the tooth socket through an aperture made within the jawbone by your dentist. This entails cutting away the gum and then drilling into the jawbone itself in order to screw the stud or post into place.
Healthy Surrounding Teeth: The natural teeth and supporting tissues near the tooth socket where the implant is to be placed must be in good health and free of gingivitis and periodontitis. Otherwise, the dental implant treatment will fail.
New Tooth Root: Once the implant has integrated with your jaw bone, the post will function as your new tooth root for the crown that will be placed atop or plugged into the stud. To sustain the connection between the crown and the implant, an abutment is required.
The Crown Is Preferable: The cap or crown is preferable to a denture or artificial set of teeth because it has a natural tooth appearance and even feels like one of your teeth due to its dental implant anchor. The abutment that links the crown to the implant resembles a tooth, although a smaller one.
Dental implants are also dependable since they cover the space left by a missing tooth. If you leave the gap alone and do not have a dental implant operation, your teeth will eventually travel towards the gap to balance your bite out, affecting the form of your jaw and the location of your teeth.
Stops Facial Structure Degeneration: Implant dentistry can keep your face, jawbone, and chin from changing over time to accommodate the space left by a lost tooth. The longer you leave missing teeth, the more your bone, face, and jaw structure will change as you age.
Dental Implant Bridge: Even if the implant is only a single tooth stud, you can use it to replace a whole row of missing teeth by inserting two studs on opposite ends of the row to form a bridge (as opposed to destroying existing teeth to serve as placements for a dental bridge).
A tooth restored using implant dentistry is made up of the following components.
The titanium stud, post, or implant is inserted into the lower or higher jawbone (wherever your missing tooth used to be, right into the socket). It’s the metal anchor that acts as a new tooth root for your recovered tooth.
This titanium implant is what provides crown fake teeth or dentures a more natural appearance when worn. This is in contrast to bridges, which involve the destruction of good adjacent teeth, or dentures, which are readily displaced.
Abutment materials include porcelain, surgical stainless steel, zirconia, gold, and titanium. It is screwed into the implant and acts as a filler or adapter to attach the crown to the implant. As a supporting contact, the substructure or connecting part provides additional support to the crown.
This is the primary adapter in your implant arrangement that links the implant to the crown more effectively. When compared to merely slamming the crown into the implant, the abutment makes it more difficult for the crown to loosen or shatter under biting pressure.
The crown is the portion of the restored tooth that appears and feels like a natural tooth. It is the cap that you place on your implant to serve as your replacement tooth. It’s built to last, and it’s truly replaceable if it fractures.
The crown is often constructed of PFM (a metal alloy) bonded with porcelain, resulting in a denture that is arguably tougher than a natural tooth. This crown is screwed or glued to the abutment. If screwed, the screw hole is filled with a restorative substance used in cavity filling (composite).
The Implanting Procedure
In terms of the implant operation itself, here is a step-by-step guidance you can follow to ensure a successful outcome.
Before you do anything further, you must have your implant operation approved. The following are the stages you should anticipate. In many ways, preparation for the implant takes longer than the actual process.
Before any procedure is done, you will need to have an initial consultation with a prosthodontist. This specialist (or a general dentist with advanced training in implant insertion and restoration) will decide whether or not you are a good candidate for implant dentistry.
Comprehensive Examination: Your dentist will perform an exam during which he will evaluate your dental and medical history. He’ll also take dental x-rays of your jaw, specifically the area where the missing tooth or teeth are, as well as impressions of your gums and teeth (for the purpose of producing tooth models).
CT Scan of the Mouth: A computer tomography scan (commonly known as a CAT or CT scan) of your mouth may be required in some circumstances so that the dentist knows what he has to work with. It helps him determine how much jawbone is available for implantation and whether bone grafts are required (particularly those who lack a strong jaw or chin will need bone augmentation).
Nerves and Sinuses: The CT scan can also help locate features like sinuses and nerves that should be avoided during implant surgery. The last thing you want to do is suffer nerve damage or shatter your sinuses while attempting to retrieve a missing tooth through restorative dentistry.
If x-rays or a CT scan show that there isn’t enough bone in your jaw to support an implant, the dentist might discuss bone augmentation or building options with you.
As mentioned in previous sections, grafting may be required to ensure that there is adequate bone for the post to attach itself in. Otherwise, the dental implant operation may fail and the implant may become dislodged when the normal biting pressures of the human jaw are applied to it.
What to Expect from Bone Grafting: Augmenting your jaw typically entails taking bone from other parts of your jaw/hip/chin, from a donor, or from artificial bone material (calcium phosphate or hydroxyapatite) and adding it to your jaw so that an implant can anchor itself deep into your mouth like a real tooth root. Bone from a processed pig, cow, or human corpse can also be used.
What to Expect from a Bone Distraction: A bone distraction differs from a bone transplant in that it is a surgical technique that causes the body to develop additional bone at the region where it is most needed, rather than placing bone material there and fusing it with your jaw. It entails utilizing pins and screws to separate existing bone, causing your body to generate new bone to fill in the gaps.
If one of these operations is required before proceeding to the actual dental implant treatment, the bone will most likely need four to twelve months to be ready for grafting and installation.
The typical approach necessitates two surgeries separated by three to six months.
The extra months are being added to allow the patient to heal first.
In the initial surgery, a little portion of your gums is sliced where the implant will be placed (the tooth socket that the gum is covering). The cut is required to gain access to the tooth socket where your lost teeth once were.
Drilling and cutting: After making a small incision in the gum, your dentist will drill right into the bone. This is for the purpose of inserting the metal implant or post into the hole in your bone. Following implantation, the incision on the gums is stitched and left to heal.
Healing Time and Second Process: After three to six months of healing, you can proceed with the second stage of the typical dental implant procedure. Making a new cut to reveal the implant is required. A healing cap or collar is then screwed onto the stud.
Healing Cap Removal: The healing cap is so named because it is intended to promote healing of the surrounding gum tissue. After a few weeks has passed, the healing cap is removed.
Abutment and Crown Positioning: The aforementioned abutment is now in place to serve as a supporting element to the final crown. The abutment is required to ensure a snug fit for the crown that will not easily come loose due to human biting forces.
Process in One Stage
Patients who are frustrated by the lengthy wait times associated with standard dental implant procedures can benefit from one-stage implant dentistry. This is occasionally utilized for implants; however, its availability is dependent on the clinic or dentist performing the procedure.
Your dentist will install the implant, abutment, and a temporary crown or bridge all in one visit during this process. The gum healing will have to go via an already completed implant setup with no healing caps.
On the plus side, the dentist won’t have to repeat cuts and stitches over a three to six-month period. Again, there is a chance of difficulties because traditional implants allow your body to better adjust to the insertion of the implant than a one-step dental implant process.
It is critical to comprehend all of the best-case situations as well as the worst-case eventualities. Make sure to get all of your questions answered, and don’t be too concerned about whether or not the dentist is in your network.