The two word phrase, dental implants, is a source of great relief in the world of dentistry. It implies a cosmetic replacement of the tooth root which holds a crown or restoration on the upper portion, and gets anchored into the alveolar bone to reinstate the original form of the tooth and sustain the integrity and solidity of the jaws. In simpler words, if your teeth have a decaying problem or cracked or chipped look, dental implants come as a savior as they substitute fine for your original teeth.
Dental Implant Surgery: This stage involves the placement of the implant by the surgical dentist into the jaw bone. This stage begins with the surgical dentist administering anesthesia to desensitize the area where the implant is to be placed. Once the area becomes inactive, the dentist creates an incision on the gum's tissue and exposes the jaw bone. Then a special drill is used to make a hole into the bone and water is passed through this hole to prepare the bone site. Now the metal implant is twisted and set into the right place. Finally the dentist closes the gums with several stitches and the opening in the bone is covered and left to heal for a minimum of 3 months or more. During the healing months, the jaw bone grows around the implant and the implant connects structurally and functionally with the bone. This process is called Osseointegration.
Restoration of the Implant: This stage calls for the restorative dentist who places a crown like object on top of the implant. Post the healing period, the surgical dentist inspects the status of the jaw bone and once he is convinced that the implant is firmly held, another hole is punctured right above the implant and a metal cylinder called an abutment is attached. The artificial tooth is built into this abutment. Once the abutment is adjusted in place, the dentist measures and determines the size of the artificial tooth and the details are sent to the dental laboratory for constructing the false tooth. Until the final tooth is ready, a temporary implant tooth will be placed on the abutment. Once the reconstructed tooth is ready, the restorative dentist places the new tooth and carries out some final touches if required.
Both the procedures are very simple and common. In case where the jaw bone is not a suitable candidate to begin with the Dental implant surgery, it is crafted and reshaped by bone grafting or a sinus lift process for it to be able to receive the implant.
The time taken to complete the dental implant procedure may vary from individual to individual depending on the individual's anatomy, physical condition and other oral hygiene conditions. However, the maximum time is consumed by Osseointegration or the healing process.
There are cases where the dentists can restore the false tooth right on the day of the surgery. This is called immediate loading and takes less time. This enables the individual to walk home with his smile restored on the very same day.