If you are planning to have a dental implant installed to replace a lost tooth, you may not know what to expect from the procedure. Here are a few details about the installation to prepare you for the process:
Before the Installation
Before your dental implant is placed, your dentist will ask about your medical history and use X-rays to confirm the density of your jawbone. If you smoke or have diabetes with poorly controlled blood sugar, your dentist may wait a period until you have stopped smoking or your blood sugar is under control before attempting a dental implant restoration.
Smoking can slow the rate of wound healing associated with an implant and inflame soft tissues surrounding the installation site. Likewise, blood sugar that is not well controlled can prolong the healing of the implant wound and increase the likelihood of gum disease.
Once your dentist has confirmed that you are a good candidate for an implant, he or she performs the procedure in a regular office setting. The dental implant surgery usually only requires local anesthesia, but if you suffer from dental anxiety, a sedative may also be applied.
During the surgery, the dentist inserts a rod or screw made of titanium metal into your jawbone. The implanted device replaces the root of the missing tooth.
The implant will be left to heal for a few months so that osseointegration can occur. Osseointegration is the assimilation of the implant with the bone of the jaw. As it transpires, the implant becomes increasingly stable within the bone.
After your procedure, you may be asked to restrict the types of foods that you eat to ensure that the implant fuses with jawbone properly without being moved out of place by bite force.
In order for a dental implant to effectively replace a missing tooth, it must be covered by a dental crown. However, first, an abutment needs to be attached to the implant to provide a way for the implant and crown to connect.
The abutment installation is performed after the implant wound has healed. The healing of the abutment wound only requires a couple of weeks, and then the crown can be placed.
The Dental Crown
A porcelain or porcelain-over-metal crown is usually added to the abutment to restore the look and chewing ability of the patient's teeth. To ensure that the crown is not noticeable in the mouth, the dentist takes a mold of your mouth and matches the crown color to that of your other teeth.
To learn more about dental implants and their installation process, schedule an appointment with a cosmetic dentist in your area.