A dental implant is a ceramic or metal screw that is placed into the patient’s jawbone via surgery. It acts as artificial roots to the dental restoration such as denture or crown after a successful tooth implant procedure. A dental implant specialist in London, Ontario does this treatment to permanently replace a missing tooth.
A good candidate to have dental implants is someone who has healthy teeth and gums and with sufficient bone density. Although others may not qualify for this restorative option, dentists perform pretreatment such as bone or gum grafting. The materials that can be used for implants are zirconia or titanium.
Most find the implant procedure a complex one. As a result, they would rather opt for a temporary and removable restoration such as dentures. It helps to understand the dental implant process better so you will know if this is the right one for you.
Three stages of a tooth implant procedure
Stage one: Placing an implant
The tooth implant procedure starts by surgically positioning the dental screw into the patient’s jawbone. To do this, the oral surgeon makes an incision through the gums, sets the implant, then closes it with sutures. This step is done during the first visit, and the patient is sent home and allow healing of the gums. This takes up to six months depending on how fast the patient recovers. The implant needs to fuse with the patient’s natural bone in a process called osseointegration. What happens is that the bone cells attach to the screw and fill in the spaces to fix the implant permanently. Once this step of the dental implant process is successful, it becomes a sturdy artificial root to the tooth.
Stage two: Set the abutment
The abutment serves as the connective post that links the implant and the artificial tooth. In essence, it ensures that the implant remains under the gums. Similar to the implant, the abutment also needs to heal on its own. The gums surrounding the abutment should heal and form a concoction around it anterior to placing a dental restoration.
Stage three: Placement of restoration
The last step of the tooth implant procedure is to place the chosen restorative option, either a crown or denture. Crowns are the most recommended option since they look like natural teeth and are more durable than dentures. The dental implant process is completed after the crown is cemented to cover the abutment.