Dental implants are artificial tooth roots made from titanium that are placed in the jawbone to replace one or more missing teeth. They can support a dental crown, bridge, or denture, depending on the number of missing teeth in need of restoration. As they heal, they will fuse with the surrounding bone and become strong enough to support a dental prosthetic. Out of the various options for replacing missing teeth, dental implants are considered by most dentists to be one of the best tooth replacement options available. This is because they are highly aesthetic, durable, and long lasting.
Did You Know?
Dental implants are composed of three main parts: the implant screw, the abutment, and the dental prosthetic. The implant screw is the piece that is implanted into the jawbone, while the abutment acts as a connector piece between the implant and the dental prosthetic.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Am I a candidate for dental implants?
You may be a candidate for dental implants if you have one or more missing teeth or are in need of a tooth extraction due to excessive damage or decay. Ideal candidates for dental implants are also those who have enough bone mass to support a dental implant, as well as those who are free from active gum disease. To determine if you are an ideal candidate for dental implants, schedule a consultation with Dr. Alina Huang DDS at your Midtown Manhattan dental office today.
What if I don’t have enough bone mass for a dental implant?
If you have suffered bone loss in your jawbone due to a missing tooth or gum disease, then you may not have enough bone present to support a dental implant. In these cases, a bone graft may be required prior to placing dental implants. A bone graft is a surgical procedure where bone material is placed at the treatment site to encourage new bone growth. This ultimately builds up enough bone in the area for implant placement. However, bone grafting may not always be the best option, so you will need to discuss this with your implant dentist.
What can I expect when having dental implants placed?
When having dental implants placed, you can expect to undergo a minor oral surgery where you will be sedated and anesthetized. During the implant surgery, a tiny incision will be made in your gums to access the jawbone. The jawbone will then be prepared for the implant by reshaping the empty tooth socket. Then, the implant screw will be placed into the jawbone. At this point, the abutment may also be screwed into place. Finally, the gums will be sutured up around the metal abutment, which will be visible above the gums.
Once the implant has been placed, it will need to heal and undergo osseointegration. Osseointegration is the 3-6 month process of new bone growth that is essential to fuse the dental implant in place. This process must occur in order for the implant to be successful. After the implant has osseointegrated, then your dentist will take a dental impression or oral scan to have your dental prosthetic fabricated. The final step is to have the permanent restoration cemented onto the abutment.
What can I expect when recovering from dental implant surgery?
When recovering from dental implant surgery, your dentist will provide you with detailed guidelines on how to care for the treatment site in the days and weeks following your procedure. As with any type of surgery, you can expect to experience some soreness and possible swelling for the first few days. In some cases, your dentist may prescribe certain medications to help with this or they may advise you to take over the counter medications.
Until your implant heals, you can also expect to be on a temporary soft foods diet. It is very important to follow this diet because trying to bite or chew the wrong foods too soon can result in implant failure. In fact, the majority of your implant’s success depends on you adhering to postoperative instructions. For this reason, many dentists will only perform implant procedures on patients who are expected to follow through with taking care of themselves during recovery.