How Dental Implants are Installed

Whenever you lose one or several teeth, you need to have them replaced. In dentistry, you have a number of alternatives. You can opt for dentures, permanent devices such as bridges or dental implants. The latter option consists of an object placed at the root of where the missing tooth once stood. A cap is then attached on top. The cap, also known as a crown, resembles your other set of teeth. This technique usually results in an artificial tooth that looks like and feels almost like the original tooth.

How does an implant look like?

Implants are made of titanium. They usually look like miniature screws or cylinders. Titanium does not harm your body. It actually becomes part of your jawbone. X-rays taken after installing titanium implants always show a compact jaw structure. It does not leave any space once you heal after undergoing surgery.

Installing a dental implant

The first thing is for the doctor to get your medical history. This procedure may require the input of two professionals, a general dentist and a prosthodontist. There are conditions that may not be ideal for a patient to have an implant. That is why a medical history is necessary. On the other hand, lifestyle habits such as smoking can make the implant not to bond with the surrounding bone cells.

The need for bone grafts

Another reason behind this check-up is for the dentist to ascertain that your jaws have sufficient material to sustain an implant. If there is a deficiency, then you will have to undergo grafting. This involves taking bone material from another part of the body and adding it to the jaw. This procedure can take place simultaneous to the implant installation or several months earlier.

Preparing the implant

The surgeon works together with the dentist and a lab technician. The team makes a device which, when attached to teeth near the replacement area, directs the prosthodotist on the right place to drill a hole. A prosthodontist is a dentist specializing in teeth replacements and reconstruction.  The surgeon drills a hole in the jawbone after which he places the root anchor. He can press or screw it inside the bone. He then closes the gum covering the titanium implant.

Final procedure

After 2-6 months, you have to go back for completion of the procedure. The dentist opens up your gum in order to reach the implant. By this time, your doctor ought to have made a replica crown. The crowns are made at a location away from the clinic. The process of customizing crowns takes about 2-3 weeks. He then takes the crown and screws it into place. The measurements must be right otherwise your artificial tooth may look out of proportion.