Dental Implant Process Step By Step
How would you feel if you lost a tooth today and the dentist told you that they cannot help you? It would be devastating to walk around with a missing tooth – not only for your self-esteem but also because a gap in the teeth can cause serious damage to surrounding teeth and the jaw bone. Dental implants are a life saver for many people – they replace missing or damaged teeth with artificial teeth and roots comfortably. This simple and effective procedure can be performed in just a few steps…
Step One: Tooth Extraction
This extraction of any remaining pieces of the damaged tooth is in itself its own procedure. It requires careful precision to ensure that enough of the buccal plate and surrounding bone is preserved. Often patients are put under anaesthesia during this part of the procedure.
Step Two: Preparation for Dental Implant
Before the implant can be inserted, the dentist will need to prepare the surface to ensure that the bone is preserved properly. Often of the time, a bone graft will be necessary. This is important because if the implant has insufficient bone to plant itself onto, then the entire procedure will be a fail. A bone graft is when the surgeon removes bone from another part of the patents body and uses it to embed into the jawbone, creating enough bone to surgically insert implants into. Bone grafting takes time to heal and can lengthen the procedure drastically – it can take up to four months for the graft to mature.
Step Three: Placing the Implant
The implant needs to be buried in the jawbone, and this takes place through a surgical procedure. One of the ways this can be done is through flapless surgery, which is not abrasive and heals faster and more effectively. The implant is placed after the surgeon has precisely and carefully drilled into the jawbone. Once the implant has been screwed into the jawbone (for added strength and durability) the next healing process will begin, known as osseointegration – this can also take several months.
Step Four: Placing the Abutment
Straight after the implant has been placed and healed, the abutment can be inserted. The abutment acts as a cover to the implant, and creates a surface for the crown to connect to. However, the next step cannot take place until the gum surround the abutment heals and forms a cuff around it.
Step Five: The Artificial Tooth is Placed
Finally the crown can be placed on top of the abutment. The dental crown is the preferred method because, unlike dentures, it is designed to look and feel like a natural tooth. An added benefit is that a crown is quick and easy to insert and restore if ever needed. In some cases the abutment is used for a healing process and then removed before the crown is inserted. The final step remains the same – the artificial tooth is fabricated and inserted, giving the patient a new and improved smile.
Although this procedure takes place over several months, it is the best and most effective way to replace missing or damaged teeth. It last long, it is invasive, and its final appearance is that of a natural tooth.