Your dentist might have recommended a dental implant to replace missing teeth, but have you ever wondered about the parts and process that will work together to help you feel comfortable living with an implant? Today, our Edmonton dentists discuss the main parts of a dental implant.
What is a dental implant?
Dental implants can be surgically placed into the jawbone as part of the process to replace a missing tooth and protect your oral health. When combined with a crown or other tooth replacement, implants have a natural look and feel.
They can assist in treating a variety of oral health issues, preventing the movement of neighbouring teeth, resolving bite problems and jaw joint pain, and maintaining the patient's facial tissue and aesthetic appearance.
The implant itself (also referred to as the fixture) is typically made with titanium and surgically placed beneath the gums.
The surgeon will drill a tiny hole to replace the missing tooth's roots before inserting the permanent implant, which has the shape of a screw, into the jawbone. Osseointegration, a process that happens as the tissue heals, allows the fixture to permanently attach to the jawbone so that the implant can be placed in your mouth.
Titanium is usually used since it's known to be well-accepted by the human body. Using proper materials increases the chance that osseointegration and other parts of the process will go smoothly, and reduces the risk of corrosion and other complications.
An extender is attached to the false tooth since the implant itself is placed entirely beneath the gumline. Called the abutment, this short screw extends at or directly over the gum line to support the tooth replacement.
The abutment, which can be made of metal or a material that mimics tooth colour, is typically attached after osseointegration has taken place. However, a dentist may occasionally place a fixture, abutment, and temporary restoration all at once.
3. Tooth Replacement
You'll need to go back to the dentist's office three to six months after your procedure so the crown, bridge, or denture that will replace your missing tooth can be attached. The replacement (or prosthesis) can be created from porcelain, ceramic, or other materials and will resemble your natural teeth in terms of appearance and functionality.
Your tooth replacement and the dental implant as a whole will work like a natural tooth and roots, which means you can chew and speak as you would normally - without the need to remove or replace false teeth.
Replace Missing Teeth to Preserve Your Oral Health
It's critical to have missing teeth replaced as soon as possible to prevent deterioration in the jaw and gum tissues, regardless of the tooth replacement option you and your dentist determine is best for you. Your oral and general health may be further compromised if deterioration takes place, and the teeth next to the gap may shift out of place, which could result in bite problems and uneven teeth.
At Highmoor Dental, we're here to help diagnose any oral health issues you may have and determine the right treatment plan for you. If you are missing teeth or are experiencing other issues with your oral health, schedule a dental examination and cleaning today.