A dental implant replaces the tooth roots with metal posts. These dental posts are similar to screws for artificial teeth. Due to their appearance and function, implants are different from bridges or crowns. This guide will walk you through the various steps in the dental implant procedure, from initial consultation to final placement of the implant and crown.
During the initial consultation, your dentist will evaluate the health of your jawbone and gum tissue. Your dentist will also examine the tooth or teeth that are missing to determine if you are a candidate for dental implants. Your dentist may take X-ray to identify the bone density and suggest a suitable procedure. Your dental implants dentist may also discuss the cost of your dental implant procedure during your consultation (To know the factors affecting the dental implants cost, check out our article: Factors Affecting the Cost of Dental Implants Treatment). After getting an estimate of the total dental implant cost from your dentist, it is important to consider dental insurance coverage.
It is typically best to extract a tooth if it has been dead or dying for some time, or if the tooth is missing due to an accident. In order to extract the tooth, your dentist will use a drill and forceps to break the tooth into pieces. Then, they will pull out the fragments of the tooth from your mouth with tweezers and rinse it with an antiseptic solution. Next, your surgeon will insert an implant on top of the spot where you extracted the tooth.
Inserting the Dental Implant and Bone Grafting
First, the surgeon will make an incision in your gum and jawbone where you would like to place the dental implant. The bone is then cut and shaped to fit the dental implant. Next, the dental implant is inserted into the prepared space. Finally, a bone grafting material is placed over the site of insertion to encourage natural Osseointegration (fusion of bone) with the implanted device.
Once the implant is fully healed, the abutment will be screwed on to the top of the implant. The abutment consists of a screw that screws into the top of the implant and then passes through a small hole in a dental crown. The dental crown is typically cemented over the abutment for stability. Know more about dental implants by reading: Dental Implants – Things You Need to Know!
Adding the Permanent Crown
A permanent crown is placed over the implant to complete the tooth restoration process. The cost of a dental implant varies based on factors such as location and prosthodontist. Some patients are able to have their dental insurance cover part or all of the costs associated with dental implants.
Depending on the type of procedure needed, dental implants procedure take anywhere from several weeks to a few months. The dental implants look more natural than others and are meant to last as long as possible.