Many people suffer from missing teeth or an incomplete set of teeth in their mouth. This can occur due to decayed teeth that fell off, an accident that caused teeth to get knocked out of the mouth, or the inability for a new tooth to grow and replace a previous one.
Dental implants are an effective alternative to restore your smile and offer a full, natural looking set of teeth. Not only will dental implants boost your overall appearance, they will also make your mouth healthier for longer.
Dental implants prevent the accumulation of plaque that is likely to occur in empty spaces of the mouth. Missing teeth can also lead to malocclusion, where the teeth that are near empty spaces tend to rotate and affect your bite.
The Dental Implant procedure
During a dental implant procedure, a dentist will examine the area of the missing tooth to determine its suitability to hold an implantation. This is necessary because some patients have jaws that have been weakened over time as a result of decay, gum infections or other oral health issues.
If the jawbone is found to be too weak to hold dental implants, an additional procedure may be necessary to strengthen the jaw before the implants are put in place. For example, bone grafting may need to be carried out to insert metal panels inside the jawbone so it can be stable. Other options may include corrective jaw surgery to reposition the jaw to its correct location.
Removing the existing tooth
After the jaw is examined, the dentist may also need to remove any remaining enamel, nerves, or residue from the missing tooth. Just because a tooth is not visible on the surface doesn't mean it is completely absent in the underlying layers of the gums.
Inserting the implant
After extraction and jaw strengthening (if necessary), the mouth is now ready for implantation. The process begins with inserting a metallic implant post into the jawbone. This metal post will hold the implanted tooth in place and provide the necessary support.
The dentist will then add an abutment, which is another metal extension that protrudes from the jawbone and into the top surface. An artificial crown is then attached to the abutment to complete the structure of the dental implant.
It's important for you to be patient throughout the treatment process, because the success of dental implants is largely dependent on the growth of new jawbone around the metal implant. The process can take several months from start to finish. However, successful dental implants can restore a full set of teeth and significantly improve your oral health.