A dental implant is essentially a titanium prop that acts as the tooth root and is surgically placed in the jawbone of an individual just beneath the gum line to ensure that the dentist can easily mount the bridge or the replacement teeth into that region. The dental implants are not loose as compared to the dentures. Tooth implants are preferred as they do not have to be anchored to any teeth like the bridges. In this article, we will discuss several dental implant procedures in detail:
1. Bone Grafting.
This is a procedure done when the oral surgeon has to transplant a portion of the bone (mainly from another region in either the upper or lower jaw) in order to give the implant a solid foundation.
In the cases where the jawbone may be too soft or is not thick enough, bone grafting should be done before the dental surgery is done. This is because the chewing process exerts great pressure to the bone and if it cannot support the implant, the surgery is likely to fail. A bone graft, therefore, is done to create the solid base for the implant.
A piece of bone is usually removed from the individuals bone or any part of the body such as the hip and then transplanted in the jawbone when bone grafting is done. The transplanted bone may take up to nine months to grow a new bone that can support the dental implant. You may also need a minor bone graft in some cases and it could be done at the same time with the implant surgery. Your jaw bone condition will, however, determine the procedure you will take.
2. Placing Of the Dental Implant
Your oral surgeon will make a cut that opens your gum during the dental implant surgery in order to expose the bone. Holes are later drilled into the bone. This will be the area where the dental implant metal post is going to be placed. The post is then inserted deep into the bone since it will now serve as the tooth root. You will still have a gap where the tooth is missing at this point. You can choose to temporally or partial denture to enhance your appearance. You should always remove this denture at night to clean it.
3. Waiting for the Bone to Grow.
Osseointegration begins immediately after the implant metal post gets into the jawbone. In this process, the jawbone will grow into and unite with the surface of your dental implant. The process may take at least six months. The process helps in providing a solid base for the new artificial tooth.
4. Placing Of the Abutment
After Osseointegration phase is completed, you can undergo an additional surgery to enable the placement of the abutment. An abutment is a piece in which the artificial crown of the tooth is placed. Local anaesthesia is used for this type of minor surgery for an outpatient setting.
When placing the abutment;
a. The oral surgeon will expose your dental implant by reopening your gum.
b. The abutment will be attached to your dental implant.
c. The gum tissue is later closed around but not over the abutment.
The abutment is mostly attached to your implant metal post in most cases when the post is implanted. This suggests that you will not have to take an extra surgical step. The abutment will be visible when you open your mouth because it juts past your gum line but once your dentist has completed the tooth prosthesis, they will not be visible. Most people, however, do not like the appearance hence prefer separate procedure for the placement of the abutment.
5. Choosing the New Artificial Teeth.
After the placement of the abutment, your gum is left for a period of one to two weeks before the attachment of the artificial tooth. After the gum has healed, more impressions of the remaining teeth and your mouth are made. The impressions are used in the making of the crown. The crown is later placed after the jawbone has become strong enough and when it can function.
There are two main categories of artificial teeth in which your dentist can help you to choose from;
It is similar to a removable denture and it has artificial teeth that are surrounded by a pink plastic gum. It is normally mounted on the metal frame that is attached to the abutment implant. It is easily removed for daily cleaning or repair.
b. The Fixed Implant Prosthesis
With these types of artificial teeth, they are permanently screwed or cemented to the individual implant abutment. Once it is placed, you cannot remove this kind of teeth when sleeping or for cleaning.
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