Dental implants do the impressive job of replacing a missing tooth at the root but, if you are like millions of adults who need a tooth replacement, you probably want to understand ‘how do dental implants work?’ Implants are currently the only permanent tooth replacement available and, with proper dental care, may last for the rest of your lifetime. Let’s take a closer look at why they are so sought-after.
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are metal anchors or screws that are surgically embedded into your gum. Once they have integrated with your jaw bone, your dentist will attach an abutment and then a crown so that the end result looks just like the other teeth in your mouth.
A dental implant may be the right choice for you, if you do not suffer from gum disease, have a healthy and fully developed jaw bone and if you do not suffer from any condition that inhibits your body’s ability to heal.
How Do Dental Implants Work As A Tooth Replacement?
Replace Missing Teeth At The Roots
What makes implants superior to other types of tooth replacements is the fact that they replace a missing tooth at the root. This is significant as it is because of this that implants can prevent further bone loss, which is a common occurrence when teeth have not been replaced or when a patient uses an alternative such as dentures or a dental bridge. These patients tend to experience considerable bone loss over time, which changes the shape and structure of their jaw.
Comfort And Confidence Come First
Patients who wear dentures tend to find them uncomfortable because they do not fit perfectly and tend to become looser over time as the jaw loses bone density.
Do no damage
When compared with dental bridges, dental implants do not require any damage to be done to the surrounding teeth. In order to accommodate a dental bridge your dentist must first file some of the dental enamel away from the adjacent teeth.
While this is necessary, it can weaken the other teeth in the process.
What To Expect From Dental Implant Surgery?
Dental implants take an extended period of time to complete because dental implant surgery is a series of mini procedures that require your body to heal before the next one can be started. Once you have had your initial consultation and your dentist has taken the necessary x-rays and digital photographs, you will be presented with a treatment plan and costing, which will outline each of the steps required to replace your missing tooth.
Placing The Dental Implant
The first step is usually the placement of the dental implant, unless you need bone graft surgery. A bone graft may be required if you have severe bone loss and your jaw is not strong enough to hold the implant.
During the placement of your implant your dentist will numb the gum area with local anaesthetic. An incision will be made into the gum and the implant will be drilled into place. Once this has happened it will take a few months for your gum to heal and for the implant to integrate with your jaw. This process is called osseo-integration and it is a very important stage, whereby the implant fuses with your body.
Placing The Abutment
Once your dentist is satisfied that you have healed well, he or she will attach the abutment.after this step, you need enough time to heal again.
Placing The Dental Crown
When you are fully healed, your dentist will make your crown to cover the dental implant and abutment. You will probably wear a temporary crown until this can be done.
What You Can Do To Ensure Your Implant Surgery Goes Smoothly?
Dental implants have a 95-98% success rate and with good dental care, you can be a part of this statistic. This means quitting smoking if you haven’t already and caring for your dental implant and other teeth by brushing and flossing twice a day. Remember to follow all of your dentist’s care instructions too.
You might experience a little swelling and bleeding after the procedures, but your condition should improve in the days following your surgeries. Your dentist will probably recommend you eat soft foods and chew on the opposite side of your mouth while you heal.
Do you still have questions about how do dental implants work? It’s always best to speak to an experienced professional before making any decisions about your dental health. Please contact us for a convenient appointment: (02) 8203 8760.