For decades, dental implants have been used to replace a single tooth, multiple teeth or a full upper and/or lower set of teeth. They allow these new teeth to feel, look and function naturally, so you can smile, laugh, and eat your favorite meal without any dental issues.
Dental implants involves the following steps:
You first undergo a comprehensive dental exam. You may have dental X-rays and 3D images taken, and have models made of your teeth and jaw, review of your medical history, dental implant discussion and planning.
The planning process for dental implants may involves an oral and maxillofacial surgeon, a periodontist, and a prosthodontist.
Dental implant placement
In your next appointment, the dental implants are placed in your jawbone.
As you heal, your implant and jawbone will grow together in a few months process called osseointegration, forming a strong, long-lasting foundation for your replacement teeth
Your dental implant surgeon may suggest soft foods for the first few weeks to make sure your implants heal properly.
Once your implant bonds with your jawbone, a small connector – called an abutment – is placed on the dental implant just above the gum-line.
In some cases, the abutment can be placed at the same time as the implant.
Custom-make and attach new teeth: After your gums heal, your dental implant dentist will make impressions of your mouth and remaining teeth to custom-make your artificial teeth.
These teeth – which can be an individual crown, implant-supported bridge or dentures containing multiple replacement teeth – will be attached to the abutment.
Periodic check ups
The process can take three to nine months, depending on the number and type of implants and replacement teeth you receive.
Much of that time is devoted to healing and waiting for the growth of new bone in your jaw. Certain steps can sometimes be combined, depending on your oral health status, the specific procedure performed, or the materials used.
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