If you are looking for a tooth replacement option, you are likely considering implants. An implant is placed in the jawline, replacing the tooth’s roots. Then a crown is placed on top of the implant. After the procedure, it will look and feel like you have a natural tooth. Get the details, so you can decide if you want implants.
The tooth replacement procedure
Dental implants and crowns are placed in a series of steps. Patients start with a consultation to determine if they are good candidates for implants. Then the dentist places the implant and gives it time to heal. The patient returns to the dentist to get the abutment, and then make another trip for the crown.
Candidates for implants
Before placing an implant, the dentist examines the patient to ensure the person is a good candidate. The jawbone must be able to support the implant. If it is not, the dentist may recommend bone grafting before implant surgery. Patients also must be in good health, so they can heal from implant surgery. Patients who are tobacco users must quit first before getting implants. Tobacco makes it difficult to heal after surgery and increases the chances of failure.
Placing the implant
The dentist makes an incision in the gumline and then drills into the jawbone. The implant is placed in the jaw, and a healing cap is placed on top of the implant. The dentist stitches up the incision and sends patients home, so the bone can heal. During the healing process, the bone fuses with the implant. This is called osseointegration, and it might take several months to complete.
Attaching the abutment
Once the osseointegration process is complete, the patient returns to the dentist. The dentist makes sure the area has healed properly. If it has, the dentist screws an abutment in place. The abutment will hold the crown. The dentist takes an impression of the implant and abutment, so a crown can be fabricated. A temporary crown is placed during this visit.
Placing the crown
The patient returns to the dentist four to six weeks later. The dentist removes the temporary crown and checks the fit of the permanent crown. In-office adjustments are made to improve the fit if necessary. Crowns are cemented in place on top of the abutment. After placement, the dentist checks the fit once again to ensure there are not any problems with the bite.
Caring for implants
Patients should brush and floss implants just like natural teeth. It is important to keep the implants and crowns free of bacteria and plaque. Patients also need to keep regular dental appointments. Dentists will clean the area and ensure the implant is functioning properly.
Do you need a tooth replacement?
If you are missing a tooth, consider a dental implant. Your dentist will make sure you are a good candidate for implant surgery. Then the dentist will place the implant during the first visit. Your dentist will attach the abutment during a second visit and place the crown during the third appointment. Once your implant is in place, care for it like a natural tooth.
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