Implants are specifically shaped compensations to replace the missing tooth root and they are the basis of crowns, bridges or dentures. By building-in of implants multiple advantages can be achieved for the teeth compensation on the aesthetic, as well as on the functional level.
Implants are surgically placed in the jaw. Due to the fact that implants tie together with the jaw bone, they provide a stable support for dental restorations. When the implant is embedded in the bone, the superstructure is placed onto it, which replaces the teeth stumps, and serves as a carrier for the crown, bridge or dentures. The key to success lies in the process of oseointegration of the implant. In the period after the surgical setting of the implant in the bone-tissue of the jaw a complex process of oseointegration takes place which involves the formation of a new bone in contact with the implant surface.
The Implant Process
The time frame for completing the implant and crown depends on many factors. When the traditional method of placing an implant is used, the shortest time frame for a complete implant is about five months in the lower jaw and six months in the upper jaw. This includes surgeries and placing the permanent crown. However, the process can last a year or more, particularly if bone needs to be built up first.
In another technique, implants and healing caps are placed at the same time. If the dentist is using mini implants, he or she will place them as well as the crown, bridge or denture at the same visit.
In the traditional method, two procedures are required, with three to six months between them. During the first procedure, a small incision is made in the gum where the implant will be placed. A hole is drilled in the bone, the implant is placed into the hole in the bone, and the incision is stitched closed.
At the end of the healing period, a second procedure takes place. It involves making a new incision to expose the implant. A collar, called a healing cap, is screwed onto the top of the implant. It helps the surrounding gum tissue to heal. After a few weeks, the healing cap is removed. The abutment is screwed into the implant and used to support the crown.
A one-stage procedure is now used sometimes for implants. In this procedure, your dentist can place the implants, abutments and a temporary crown or bridge all in one visit.
A dental implant is a titanium post (like a tooth root) that is surgically positioned into the jawbone beneath the gum line that allows your dentist to mount replacement teeth or a bridge into that area. An implant doesn't come loose like a denture can. Dental implants also benefit general oral health because they do not have to be anchored to other teeth, like bridges.
Oral Care Specifics to IMPLANTS
If you are considering implants, you must have healthy gums and adequate bone to support the implant. If your bone is too thin or soft and unable to support an implant, you may require a bone graft. Or if there is not enough bone height in the upper jaw or the sinuses are too close to the jaw, you may require a sinus lift.