What is involved with dental implants?
Most patients are surprised to learn that most dental procedures have a limited lifespan. Fillings, crowns and other fixes do not typically last forever. That is why dental implants have become so popular. As more people ask their dentist about implants, it is important to understand the process step by step in order to assess the viability for each patient.
First, it is imperative that each patient undergo a thorough dental examination. In order to provide longer results, an implant is much more invasive than other procedures. Therefore, patients should have extensive scans completed in order to see the condition of their gums, teeth and jaw. If there is a problem with the jaw bone, some measures can be taken. Bone grafts can be successful in some cases. However, there are some people who simply are not able to receive dental implants.
After determining whether or not a patient is a good candidate for the procedure, further preparation is required. This usually involves impressions. These impressions are like a mold of the patient’s mouth. This allows an implant to be made to precisely fit the patient’s mouth. Since dental implants are like replacement teeth, it is important that the fit is absolutely perfect.
Once the materials for the implant are prepared to fit the patient’s mouth, the actual procedure can begin. There are at least two additional surgical visits required with a dentist. First, the tooth in question is removed, and a hole is drilled into the jaw. The implant materials are placed. Essentially, these implants are like artificial roots. Later, after the jaw has healed sufficiently, the crown will be put in place.
It often takes several months for the dental implant to heal enough for further work. During this time, the implant starts to fuse with the jaw. This is why a dental implant is so secure, and this is the key to its longevity. Once this process is far enough along, the dentist should place the crown along with the abutment. The abutment serves to attach the crown to the implant. Sometimes, these two things must be attached at separate times, but the process is streamlined when the abutment is placed along with the crown.
Given the nature of this process, it is not a cheap procedure. However, the results are often superior to other procedures. That is why more patients are interested in making the commitment.