With dental implants, our dentists at Marine Dental Clinic in North Vancouver 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 believe that dental implants are an excellent way to replace missing teeth and restore function to their smile. If you are considering getting dental implants to replace missing teeth, it is critical that you understand 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 serves as the 'root' or stable base to which the artificial tooth will be attached. Once the implant site has healed sufficiently, the screw will fuse with your jaw bone, forming a strong permanent foundation 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.
The second step in the dental implant procedure is to attach an abutment to the implant. This abutment, which is typically made of ceramic or titanium, secures the restoration to the dental implant.
After allowing enough time for the healing process, your dentist will be able to attach a restoration to the abutment. This restoration could be a single artificial tooth or a set of artificial teeth supported by 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.