With dental implants, our dentists at ProActive Dental Studio in Surrey can restore your smile’s natural function and appearance. In this post, we share some facts about what dental implants are and how the implant process works.
Are dental implants for you?
Many of our patients feel that dental implants are an ideal way to restore function to their smile by replacing missing teeth. If you are thinking about getting dental implants to replace your missing teeth, it’s important for you to understand exactly what dental implants are, and how the implant process works.
What are the parts of a dental implant?
While all three parts of the dental implant are known as ‘a dental implant’ when grouped together, the actual implant part is a tiny titanium screw that will be surgically placed in your jaw by your dentist. It will be put in the spot where the root of the missing tooth once sat.
This screw makes up the ‘root’ or stable base that will be attached to the artificial tooth. Once the implant site has had sufficient time to heal, the screw will fuse with your jaw bone and create a strong permanent base for the artificial tooth - a crown, bridge or denture.
The dental implant process can be long. After implant placement surgery, the healing process usually takes between 4 to 6 months. When your mouth has healed completely, the next step in this dental implant process can start.
Having an abutment attached to the implant is the second step in the dental implant process. This abutment secures the restoration to the dental implant and is usually made from a ceramic material or titanium.
After allowing enough time for the healing process to take place, your dentist can attach a restoration to the abutment. This restoration may be a single artificial tooth or multiple artificial teeth in the form of an implant-supported denture or bridge.
Typically made from porcelain, a dental bridge can be used to replace a number of missing teeth side-by-side. This restoration can be attached to just two implants that hold it in place.
A single tooth can be replaced with a crown, which can be cemented or screwed to the abutment to create an artificial tooth that will look and function similar to a natural tooth. Dental crowns can be made from ceramic, or a mixture of porcelain and metal.
If you need to replace a full jaw of missing teeth, implant-supported dentures can be used. These are typically constructed from porcelain teeth or acrylic resin. Implant-supported dentures are permanently secured to dental implants to create a natural-looking, secure tooth replacement, whereas conventional dentures are removable.