The Dental Implant Process

If you have problems with your teeth, you may be curious about dental implants. Dental implants are a great way to replace teeth because they are durable and look natural. If you are considering dental implants, check out these steps you may have to take during the process.

Teeth Removal

Teeth may need to be removed for a variety of reasons, but some of the most common include:

  • A tooth abscess, especially a recurrent abscess on the same tooth
  • Severe trauma
  • Severe decay
  • Gum disease

If you haven't already lost teeth but your dentist recommends extraction, expect a simple or surgical extraction. Simple extraction requires no incisions, and surgical extractions need incisions to better access the tooth's root. This is common if the tooth's root is not fully erupted or has been fully destroyed.

Gum Disease Treatment

If you lost teeth due to gum disease, you'll need to treat it first. This may only include a deep cleaning/root planing and antibiotics. However, if the disease has caused significant damage to the gums, you may need surgical intervention. Gum flap surgery allows the dentist to pull back the gums, fully clean the roots, and then reposition the gums. Gum grafts replace lost gum tissue.

If you have gum disease, the chances of implant failure increase. Plus, if you don't continue to care for your gums, you may develop gum disease around the implant, which also increases the risk of failure.

Jawbone Restoration

You need a strong jawbone to support dental implants, but tooth loss causes the jawbone to atrophy. If you've had missing teeth for a while, you may need a bone graft to restore the jawbone's volume. The dentist may take steps to protect the jawbone from shrinking immediately after extraction if you plan on getting an implant.

After the implants are placed, they will stimulate the jawbone like your natural teeth, which keeps the jawbone strong. This can help prevent future tooth loss.

The Titanium Implant

Once the jawbone is ready, the dentist inserts the implant directly into the gums and jawbone, and the bone fuses it to create a durable hold. Therefore, dental implants are so much more durable than dentures and dental bridges. After placing the implant, the area must heal.

The Crown

Finally, after the titanium is ready, the dentist makes an incision to access the implant. They place an abutment, which serves as a connector for the implant and dental crown. The dental crown, made of metal and porcelain, is durable and looks like natural tooth tissue. The crown is resistant to stains and impervious to decay.

If you think dental implants are the best choice for your smile, you're in luck. Whether you're missing one or all of your teeth, there is an implant option. If you would like to know more, contact a local dental office, like Dental Clinic of Onalaska.