There are three parts to the dental implant:
The Implant Root - This is a biocompatible titanium replacement root that is inserted into your jawbone.
The Implant Abutment - This is a titanium connector between the implant root and your implant crown.
The Implant Crown - The implant crown is specially made to match the look, feel and function of your natural tooth.
Dental Implant Procedure
- The Implant Surgeon Places Your Implant Root - Under local anesthesia, your implant site is prepared, Your implant root is gently placed and covered over.
- Your Implant Root Attaches to the Surrounding Bone - Over several months, your implant bonds to your jawbone and everything heals. Then your implant root is uncovered and your gum tissue is contoured for appearance and function.
- A Temporary Crown is Placed - If the implant site is in your smile zone, your general dentist can fashion a temporary crown for the area during the several month healing period mentioned in #2 above.
- The General Dentist Creates and Places Your Final Crown - After healing is complete, your general dentist will take an impression to make your new crown. Your new crown will be made and then fused to your implant abutment. On the final appointment, your dentist will then place your new crown into the Implant Root, giving you a natural looking and functioning new tooth!
Implants have become the first choice and a standard of care for tooth replacement. A missing tooth can be disfiguring and result in a poor cosmetic situation. Multiple missing teeth can result in bone loss that affects facial contours and cause drifting of the surrounding teeth. Implants provide the most advanced tooth replacement system ever devised. When implants are placed at the appropriate time, they can help preserve the jawbone and prevent the appearance of premature aging. The implant-supported teeth look and function like natural teeth and will help you to chew, smile, and laugh with confidence.
For single tooth replacement an implant is often the treatment of choice. An implant mimics the natural tooth root and is placed in the bone by a periodontist. The crown is then placed on top of the implant. The restoration is designed to look and function like a real tooth. With proper positioning the implant-supported tooth helps to stop drifting of the adjacent teeth and helps to preserve the surrounding bone and soft tissue to provide a natural appearing result.
Several missing teeth can be replaced with implants, which can prevent the need to wear removable dentures or partial dentures. In most cases implants are placed under local anesthesia and conscious sedation. Multiple implants can be placed at one appointment thereby reducing the overall treatment time.
Implants can be used to replace an entire arch of missing teeth with either a fixed restoration (removable only by a dentist) or an implant-retained removable prosthesis. A fixed restoration requires five to ten implants in the same jaw and the restoration is retained by screws. Adequate space is provided beneath the implant-supported restoration to allow for cleaning.
An implant-retained removable prosthesis is sometimes an ideal restoration particularly for the upper arch when the teeth and significant amounts of bone have been lost. The prosthesis supported by implants can replace both the teeth and the missing structures around the teeth such as gum and bone to provide a life-like and natural appearance with normal length teeth. The removable prosthesis can be modified and streamlined to avoid coverage of the palate (roof of the mouth) and contact with the oral soft tissues. An implant-supported removable prosthesis requires fewer implants and results in less cost.