At Advanced Sedation Dentistry, a dental implant is a replacement tooth root made of sturdy titanium placed into the jawbone during a minor surgical procedure. Implants differ from other procedures because they’re artificial structures that look and function just like your natural teeth. As a bonus, they’re designed to fuse with the jaw bone through a process known as osseointegration. This means the implants act as a solid anchor for crowns, bridges, or dentures, making them more secure and comfortable than conventional options like bridges and removable dentures.
There are two main types of dental implants – endosteal and subperiosteal. Endosteal implants are the most common and are surgically implanted into the jawbone. Subperiosteal implants are less common and consist of a metal framework fitted onto the top of the gum line and held in place with posts inserted through the gums. Subperiosteal implants are typically used for patients with weak jaw bones who cannot undergo an invasive procedure. Both types of dental implants offer the same functionality and can be used interchangeably depending on the patient's needs. While they are more costly than dentures or bridges, their durability makes them a worthwhile investment.
The dental implant process takes some time to complete. The first step is placing the implant post into the missing tooth's bone socket. The time it takes for this step will depend on the severity of the tooth loss. Once the post is placed, it must heal and fuse with the jawbone for several months before the next step is taken. This is known as the osseointegration phase. Once healing has been completed, your dentist will take an impression of your mouth and send this to a lab where your custom abutment will be manufactured. Your dentist will also take impressions of your teeth to create custom-made crowns and bridges if all your teeth are missing. These restorations will be placed once the dentist has determined the proper fit and the restorations are ready to be cemented. The entire process can take anywhere from six months to one year, depending on how quickly the bone heals, how many implants are being restored, and whether or not any additional procedures are needed before restoration placement.
An implant may be the right solution if you’re missing one or a few teeth in a row. To learn more about the benefit of implants, visit Advanced Sedation Dentistry in Virginia Beach or Chesapeake or call (757) 769-7155.