Dental implants are the closest thing we have to Mother Nature when it comes to tooth replacement. Our natural teeth are composed of two parts ─ the root (which anchors the tooth into the jawbone) and the crown (the visible part above the gums). Dental implants come in three parts: the actual titanium implant device that replaces the root of the natural tooth and is buried under the gums into the jawbone; the abutment, or connecting part, between the implant and the crown; and the crown of the implant that is visible above the gums. Dental implants allow your dental team to replace a single tooth, multiple teeth, or a full arch of teeth in a way that preserves or enhances esthetics and chewing confidence. Dental implants can also be used to help anchor a denture or partial denture for added stability.
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Dental Implants FAQ
What procedures are utilized to place an implant?
A one-stage implant involves placing the implant, or root replacement, into the jawbone under the gums, with a metal collar that protrudes through the gums. This eliminates the need to re-expose the implant. After a three-to-four-month healing period, the prosthetic process of custom building the abutment and crown can begin. This generally takes about four weeks.
During a two-stage procedure, the implant is placed into the jawbone under the gums, and after a three-to-four-month healing period, it is surgically exposed by removing parts of the gums covering it. The prosthetic process of custom building the abutment and crown can then begin. This generally takes about four weeks.
An immediate implant procedure removes the natural tooth and then places the implant utilizing the same bone socket. This happens during one visit.
What is the healing process of an implant?
The jawbone requires three to four months to heal and form bone around the implant before the crown process can be initiated.
How long do implants last?
Implants last for as long as you take care of them. The average long-term success rate is in the high 90-percent range. Good hygiene practices at home plus regular dental cleaning appointments and follow-ups are needed, to ensure the implant stays in optimum health and to prevent disease or infection.
Do I need to be fully sedated to have an implant?
Implant placement is a simple surgical procedure that lasts about an hour. We use local anesthetics (the same that is used for a filling). After the procedure, you can drive yourself and perform most normal functions.
What is bone grafting or bone augmentation?
The bone around the tooth is supported by the tooth itself. When the tooth is removed, the surrounding bone tends to collapse if a “filler” or a bone augmentation material is not used to fill that void or socket. Bone augmentation is necessary to preserve the bone and gums and ensures better results for implant placement.
What is sinus augmentation?
The maxillary sinus is an air-filled space in our skull that ensures normal breathing and other important functions. The maxillary sinus is located above the upper posterior teeth and is tented in its place by the roots of these teeth. When these teeth are removed, the sinus tends to drop down, making that location impossible for dental implantation without augmentation. Sinus augmentation is typically performed at the same time the implants are placed, by simple techniques that push the sinus up to its normal location with the use of bone augmentation materials.