Do you have a missing tooth or missing multiple teeth? There are a number of teeth replacement options available that you can choose from. Among these teeth replacement options, dental implant stands to be the most reliable and durable tooth replacement option that mimics the whole structure of the natural tooth.
Are you considering undergoing a dental implant procedure, there are a few things you need to know about the dental implant procedure. These include the structure of the dental implant, your eligibility for the procedure, and how the tooth replacement with the dental implant is carried out.
The Structure Of Dental Implant
Dental implant basically replaces the entire missing tooth – whole structure – and not the crown part only. It usually consists of three parts:
- The Crown: This is the tooth-like part of the dental implant. This is the part above the gum line that looks like a natural tooth. It is usually made of various dental materials, which include gold, ceramic, porcelain, etc.
- Connector (Abutment): the abutment is used to secure the dental crown to the implant. It can either be octagonal or hexagonal in shape.
- The Base: this is a titanium screw that is inserted into the jawbone. This part fuses with the jawbone to provide stable and safe support.
Eligibility For Dental Implant Surgery
To be eligible for dental implant surgery, you must have the following attributes:
- A missing tooth or multiple missing teeth
- A damaged tooth
- Adequate jawbone to support the implants
- Good and proper dental hygiene
- Good general physical health
When you visit your dentist to discuss a dental implant procedure, these are part of what your dentist would check to see if you are eligible for the dental implant procedure. Generally, if you have a missing tooth or missing multiple teeth, you are eligible for dental implants.
Dental Implant Procedure
Foremost, dental implant procedure is a type of surgical operation and involves invasive treatments. Hence, it should be carried out by a professional dental implant dentist for a best and successful result.
More so, dental implant surgery is not just a surgery where you go into the dental lab with a missing tooth and walk out with a new white tooth. Instead, the implant surgery follows outpatient care and involves several stages.
For instance, if the badly injured or damaged tooth is still in your mouth, the dental implant dentist would have to remove it first. This is a painful procedure on its own and requires the use of anaesthesia. Also, in case of insufficient jawbone to support the implant, a bone graft may be required. This means that the oral surgeon would extract a small amount of bone from other parts of the body and place it into your jawbone.
The dental implant dentist would wait for the jawbone to heal before placing the titanium dental implant in your jaw, which is screwed into the jawbone for strength and support. The dental implant dentist would wait for another healing period known as “osseointegration.”
After osseointegration, the abutment to the dental implant is attached. Once the soft tissue is healed with the abutment, the dental implant dentist would take an impression of your teeth and jawbone. These will be used to make a mould with which the permanent crown will be made.
The crown is then placed finally on top of the abutment. The whole dental implant procedure can take several months. The healing time is responsible for these long periods.
To really know how long the dental implant procedure takes in all its stages, here is a breakdown of the steps.
The first step before the implant procedure starts is to visit your dental implant dentist for an initial consultation. During the consultation, the dental implant dentist will carry out a thorough dental examination, as well as take impressions and an X-ray of your teeth and mouth to determine whether or not you need a bone graft. The dental implant dentist will discuss with you the recommended treatment plan. And also go over the steps involved in the procedure including the timeframe for the procedure, and everything to do during the recovery phase.
Bone Grafting And Teeth Removal (If Necessary)
In the case of tooth extraction, you may be allowed a period of time to recover. Also, if you undergo a bone graft procedure, you would have to wait for about 4 to 12 months for osseointegration and for the jawbone to be healed properly and ready for the dental implant.
This is usually the next step in the implant procedure. At this stage, the metal screw (implant itself) is surgically inserted into your jawbone and acts as the supporting anchor for the artificial tooth. This procedure normally takes about 1 to 2 hours and you should be under the influence of anaesthesia to reduce pain.
After the implant has been inserted into your jawbone, the healing phase can take up to about 5 months for an implant in the lower jaw and up to about 7 months for an implant in the upper jaw.
Placing The Healing Collar Or Temporary Crown
Once your osseointegration has completed, the dentist would place a healing collar (healing cap) on the top of the implant and possibly a temporary crown. The healing cap helps to guide the gingival tissue to heal properly. The healing cap is actually a round piece of metal that keeps the gingivae away from the dental implant. The healing cap stays on the implant for about 10 to 14 days after which it will be removed.
Placing The Abutment
The abutment is the part that is attached to the dental implant and supports the crown. Once the abutment is screwed in, another impression will be taken to determine the replacement tooth. Your dentist will add the temporary crown to allow the gingival tissues to continue to heal and form around the crown. The temporary crown would be worn for about 4 to 6 weeks while the permanent crown is being made.
Placing The Permanent Crown
This is usually the final stage in the dental implant procedure. The completed permanent crown is either screwed into the abutment or cemented in place. Cementing the crown looks better and more natural than screwing the crown as there would be no screw hole at sight.
There are 2 types of permanent crowns – the removable crown and the fixed crown. The fixed crown is more common and is either screwed into or cemented on the abutment. The fixed crown is much stable and stronger than the removable crown. The removable crown is typically attached on a metal frame, which snaps into the abutment. It can be removed daily for cleaning.
Remember, you need a professional dental implant dentist to handle your implant procedure for a lasting result. VIP Dental Implants have several professional dental implant dentists who have been helping lots of patients to handle their dental implant procedures.
Contact us today to get back your beautiful smile and self-confidence.