Missing teeth can lead to numerous serious oral health complications and issues with eating and speaking. Gaps in your smile can lead to misalignment of the remaining teeth and increased wear and tear. Missing teeth can also cause a change in the shape of your face due to jawbone loss. Over time, this can result in a more aged appearance.
Unlike dentures or bridges, dental implants are permanently anchored to the jawbone, providing a sturdy foundation for artificial teeth. Dental implants help preserve bone density in the jaw by stimulating osteogenesis, preventing the facial changes that can occur with other tooth replacement options. Because they are fused with the bone, dental implants are designed to last a lifetime.
Understanding how dental implants are done can help alleviate any concerns about the procedure and help you decide if the surgery is the right option for you.
How Are Dental Implants Done: How Do They Work?
A dental implant is a titanium post surgically inserted into the jawbone to act as a replacement for a natural tooth. The implant fuses with the bone over four to nine months. Osseointegration also helps prevent jawbone deterioration, which can occur after tooth loss.
Dental implants have a 90-95% success rate, providing a strong foundation for the replacement tooth while preserving the surrounding teeth’ health. As a result, dental implant surgery offers both functional and aesthetic benefits.
How Are Dental Implants Done: The Dental Implant Procedure
The dental implant procedure usually takes place over several visits. This allows adequate time for osseointegration and healing between implantation and placing the abutment and restoration. It is a safe way to replace missing teeth and is performed under local anaesthesia, so most patients report minimal discomfort during the procedure.
A dentist that offers a consultation will examine your mouth and take X-rays and a CT scan to determine whether dental implants are right for you. If implants are determined to be the best option, the next step is to prepare your mouth and jaw for dental implant surgery. This may involve multiple preparatory surgeries, such as bone grafting or sinus lift, to ensure the successful placement of the dental implant.
Dental Implant Surgery
This step involves placing titanium posts into the jawbone to serve as anchors for the dental implants, which support the new teeth. Depending on the type of dental implant and the condition of your jawbone, your dentist may need to make a cut (incision) in your gum to reach the bone. Next, pilot holes are drilled into the jawbone for each dental implant. The dental implants are then screwed into these holes, and the gums are sutured closed.
Abutment placement is a procedure that is typically performed several months after the initial dental implant surgery.
After the dental implant procedure, an abutment, a small metal connector piece, is placed onto the implant.
The abutment acts as a base for the dental prosthetic that will be placed over the implant. In some cases, your dentist may place the abutment during the same surgery to place your implant post.
Creating and Fitting the Restoration
The final step in the dental implant procedure is to fabricate and fit the restoration. Depending on your individual needs, this restoration can be done with dentures, bridges, or crowns.
At Killara Dental, we offer state-of-the-art CEREC crowns and bridges. The advanced CAD/CAM technology allows us to fabricate your implant restoration onsite rather than waiting several weeks for a lab technician.
Once the restoration is complete, you can eat and speak normally and care for your implant teeth just like your natural teeth.
Get a Consultation at Your Local Dental Clinic in Killara
If you are looking for a dental consultation near you, contact our dental practice. Dental implants are a big decision, and we can help make the process as comfortable and stress-free as possible.
We advise all patients to come in for a consultation before making a decision. We will be able to evaluate your individual case and develop the best treatment plan for your smile. Give us a call on (02) 9100 0831 today or book an appointment online.
Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.
Dental Implants: What You Should Know | FDA
Factors Affecting the Survival Rate of Dental Implants: A Retrospective Study – PMC