When you have a tooth missing, or even several teeth, getting dental implants is a great way to replace the missing teeth with something that’s durable and looks great. There are different types of dental implants, and you may need a few if you are replacing a full arch of teeth. It’s common to get individual implants if you are missing just one tooth or a few of them.
Getting dental implants is a process that takes time to complete. There are several stages of the process, and there are a few months in between each stage. Each stage is an outpatient procedure that takes little time. Getting a dental implant generally takes up to a year, though it may take longer if there are any issues with healing in between the stages. Once the entire process is complete, you will have brand-new, attractive teeth that will be strong and reliable.
Tooth Loss and Bone Grafts
When a tooth has serious problems such as a lot of decay, it may need to be removed. When a tooth is removed, you will usually be asked what you want to do to replace it. If you choose a dental implant, the oral surgeon will look at the area and decide whether you need to have stronger, thicker bone in that area to hold the implant. It’s often necessary to get a bone graft in the areas so that the bone will become denser. Getting the tooth removed and the bone graft put in will require that you spend a few months healing before the dental implant process can begin. After about six months, you can get the first stage of the dental implant.
The Implanted Post
The first stage is to get a titanium post implanted into the bone of the jaw. Titanium is incredibly strong, making the implant highly durable. Once the post is implanted into the jaw, it will also need time to heal. Your oral surgeon will tell you how many months you’ll need to heal before you can get to the next stage. Four to six months is pretty typical for a healing period. The post will then have time to fuse with the bone in the jaw. This will allow the implant to be incredibly stable and ready to hold the rest of the dental implant. When you get your post implanted, you are likely to be sedated for the procedure. This ensures that you are comfortable throughout the process.
The next stage in the process is to get the abutment attached to the post. Once the implanted post has healed, the oral surgeon can put the abutment on the end of the post. This is a small piece that will sit in between the post and the crown that will eventually be on it. It’s a connecting piece that is necessary to the process. It will ensure that the crown will stay in place on the post.
The last stage of getting a dental implant is to get the crown placed onto the post and abutment. The crown will be a piece that looks just like a natural tooth. It is made from a special type of porcelain and has the same color as the rest of your teeth. It will also have the texture and shine that is found on natural teeth. The crown will be highly tough and durable and ready for plenty of use. You may be asked to choose the color of your crown with a color chart so that you get exactly the color you want. When you get the crown placed over the abutment, it’s always possible that the crown may need a little bit of adjustment to get it to fit with precision. This is less likely now with advanced implant technology, but it can occur. This is a quick process that the doctor can do right away so that you can still get your implant placed during your appointment. The doctor will make sure that the crown fits well and is comfortable for you.
Dental Implant Care
When you have a dental implant, it doesn’t need any special care. It is not removable, so there is no taking it out to clean it. There are no special tools that you may need as with some dental treatments. You simply brush and floss as you do your other teeth, and your implant will continue to look great. The tooth will look just like your others, so no one will be able to tell that it’s any different from your other teeth. It can also be used like your other teeth. If you’ve had a hard time chewing or talking because of one or more missing teeth, getting the dental implant will solve those problems. Many people find that they can eat things after getting an implant that were too difficult to eat before. You may also be more inclined to smile because the implant can give you more self-confidence.
When you need a tooth removed and/or want to get a dental implant to replace it, call us at DFW Oral Surgeons. We are available for your oral surgery needs to improve your oral health.