How Do Dental Implants Work

How Do Dental Implants Work

Among all of the options available to patients who need to have one or more teeth replaced, dental implants are by far the most durable, most comfortable and most technologically advanced. Until fairly recently, replacing damaged or missing teeth meant having a bridge installed or a fake tooth mounted onto a retainer that would be worn by the patient. Neither of these solutions ever truly solved the problem of the missing tooth, however. A bridge simply distributes the chewing force from the missing tooth onto the neighboring teeth, and a fake tooth on a retainer can’t be used when eating and is easy to lose. Dental implants solve these problems beautifully. First of all, dental implants are considered permanent, and many successfully placed implants last for decades without requiring any maintenance whatsoever. Also, because the implant osseointegrates with the bone of the upper or lower jaw, it functions identically to a tooth that has natural roots and a natural placement among the other teeth in the mouth. Understanding how a dental implant is fabricated and installed may help a new patient better understand the dental implant process as a whole.

Preparation

First, the designated implant area must be prepared by removing the old tooth; this is a procedure known as an extraction. Some dental offices prefer to wait until the extraction site is healed before proceeding with the implant, but other offices can actually complete both procedures in the same sitting. After the site is prepared, a small hole is created into which the implant abutment will be fitted. The abutment is a thin, precision-made screw that is coated with a plasma that reduces the chance of the body rejecting the implant. It is not uncommon for there to be a time delay between the abutment fitting and the final crown placement. During this time, the patient may be given a temporary crown that will make eating and speaking more comfortable.

Crown Fabrication and Installation

Once the abutment is in place, the crown can be applied. The crown is generally fabricated using advanced 3D modeling software that ensures the ideal shape and size. The crown placement procedure is very quick, and usually the patient doesn’t have to receive any other treatments. The implant is then monitored via periodical x-rays until such time as the patient feels comfortable using the implant just like any other tooth. Dental implants truly are a marvel of modern dentistry, and they can genuinely change the quality of life for patients. Even if two, three or more consecutive teeth need to be replaced, a dental implant solution can be crafted and installed with minimal disruption to the day-to-day life of the patient.

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