Dental implants are a popular and effective solution for people who have lost one or more teeth. The procedure involves placing small, artificial tooth roots into the jawbone to support replacement teeth. Dental implants are a great option for people who want to improve their appearance and function, as well as their overall oral health. At Chapel Hill Dentist, our team of skilled and compassionate dental professionals is dedicated to providing the highest quality of care to our patients.
In this article, we’ll explain the art and science behind dental implants, and provide an overview of what to expect during the implant procedure.
The history of dental implants dates back to ancient times, when human teeth were replaced by animal teeth or carved from materials like ivory. However, it wasn’t until the mid-20th century that the modern dental implant was developed. The key innovation was the use of titanium, a strong and biocompatible metal, to create the artificial tooth root.
The implant itself is a small, screw-shaped device that is surgically placed into the jawbone. As the bone heals, it grows around the implant, creating a strong foundation for the replacement tooth. This process, known as osseointegration, is the science behind dental implants.
Once the implant has fused with the jawbone, a small connector, called an abutment, is placed on top of the implant to support the replacement tooth. The replacement tooth, which can be a dental crown, bridge, or denture, is then attached to the abutment.
The implant procedure itself is typically performed by an oral surgeon or periodontist (a dentist who specializes in the treatment of gum disease) and typically involves the following steps:
- Consultation: Your dentist will examine your mouth to determine if you are a good candidate for the procedure. They will take x-rays and impressions of your teeth to plan the placement of the implant.
- Surgery: Your dentist will numb the area around the implant site with a local anesthetic to minimize any discomfort. They will then make an incision in the gum and place the implant into the jawbone. The gum is then stitched up around the implant.
- Healing: After the surgery, you will need to allow time for the implant to heal and integrate with the jawbone. This process can take several months.
- Placement of the abutment: Once the implant has fully healed, your dentist will place the abutment on top of the implant.
- Placement of the replacement tooth: The final step is to attach the replacement tooth to the abutment. This can be done in a separate procedure, or it may be done at the same time as the abutment placement.
Overall, the process for dental implants can take several months from start to finish. However, the end result is a natural-looking and functioning replacement tooth that can improve your appearance and oral health.
If you’re considering dental implants, it’s important to have a thorough consultation with your dentist to determine if the procedure is right for you. Factors such as the health of your jawbone, your overall health, and the number of teeth you need to replace will all be taken into consideration. Your dentist will also discuss the costs and potential risks of the procedure with you.
In conclusion, dental implants are a reliable and effective solution for missing teeth. While the procedure may take longer than other options, such as bridges or dentures, the end result is a natural-looking and functioning replacement tooth that can improve your appearance and oral health. If you’re interested in dental implants, be sure to have a thorough consultation with your dentist to determine if the procedure is right for you.