Tooth loss can make you feel self-conscious about your smile. Dental implants can restore that confidence by enhancing your functionality and overall oral health. Choose the longest-lasting, most secure tooth replacement option and start smiling again.
How it works: The dental implant placement and restoration process
At your consultation, your dentist will determine if dental implants are right for you. Your doctor will examine your mouth, take x-rays, and determine if your jaw is strong and healthy enough to support one or more dental implants. You and your dentist can also explore other restorative dentistry options at this time.
After you’ve been approved for treatment, your dentist will create a surgical plan for your dental implant, and schedule your oral surgery appointment. At this appointment, your dentist will create a small opening in your gum tissue, place a dental implant secure in the jaw, then clean the area and suture it shut to en
Healing & Osseointegration
Once your implant has been placed, healing will begin. It takes 1-2 weeks to heal completely from surgery, but it will take between 3-6 months for your dental implant to bond permanently with your jaw bone in a process called “osseointegration”.
Creating the Prosthetic
You’ll come back to our office for a few follow-up appointments as your mouth heals from surgery. During those appointments, your dentist will ensure you’re healing properly, and take impressions of your implant and teeth. These impressions are sent to a lab, where your prosthetic, a dental crown or arch of teeth, will be made.
Placing the Restoration
Once your prosthetic is finished and your mouth has completely healed, you’ll come back for a final appointment at our office. At this appointment, your dentist will permanently bond your restoration to your dental implant, completing the procedure.
Maintenance & Aftercare
Dental implants do not require a lot of special care. To keep your mouth healthy, simply make sure you brush and floss regularly, and see your dentist every six months for a teeth cleaning and oral exam.
Single-tooth implants are the most frequently-used type of dental implant, and they have two main parts. The dental implant, or post, is a screw-shaped rod of titanium. The restoration for a single implant is usually a dental crown. For the placement of a single dental implant, the post is permanently placed into your gum and jaw and allowed to heal. During healing, a dental crown is manufactured and will eventually be attached to the post with an “abutment.” This dental crown restores the shape, appearance, and function of your natural tooth. Single-tooth implants are extremely durable and long lasting, and they never move or shift, unlike a partial denture.
Full-arch implants are a good option if you are missing all or most of your natural teeth, and are interested in a more secure, long-lasting alternative to traditional dentures. They use a series of 4-6 dental implants per arch, which are strategically placed across the arch of your mouth. These dental implants, or posts, function as artificial roots and allow for the attachment of a set of removable implant-supported overdentures or permanent fixed dental bridges to restore your smile. Compared to dentures, full-arch implants look and feel much more natural, and will never shift or move when you eat or speak.
Mini implants are similar to standard dental implants, but as the name suggests, they’re only about half of the size of a traditional implant. Because of this, the placement process is not as invasive as traditional implants, and mini implants can typically still be placed in your jaw even if it has been weakened by bone resorption after tooth loss. While they can be used to restore one tooth or several missing teeth, mini implants are most commonly used to support a set of dentures in the lower jaw.
Have questions about implant dentistry? Find answers here.
How are dental implants made?
A dental implant is made of two parts: a small, screw-shaped piece of titanium called the post, and the restoration, which is usually a dental crown and abutment. Posts are manufactured in a variety of pre-selected sizes to ensure each patient gets the right implant for their needs. In contrast, the restoration is completely custom-made. After your dentist places your dental implant, they will take impressions of your teeth and send them to a dental lab.
There, a technician will create a long-lasting, durable dental implant restoration out of porcelain or another high-quality material. This restoration will be sent back to our office, and it will be attached to your dental implant, completing your implant procedure.
How long do dental implants last?
Dental implants typically last up to 30 years or more with proper placement and care. In fact, it’s very common for patients to keep their implants for the rest of their lives.
However, the dental implant restoration, such as a dental crown or set of overdentures, usually will not last this long. Your restoration is exposed to regular wear and tear from chewing, biting, and more, and may need to be replaced a few times over the years.
Can dental implants get infected?
It is possible for dental implants to become infected. This is known as “peri-implantitis.” However, this is a very rare complication, and it typically only occurs if the implant is not cared for and kept clean after surgery. You can avoid peri-implantitis by following your dentist’s instructions while recovering, and by brushing and flossing regularly after your implant has healed.
Will dental implants stop bone loss?
Yes. Bone loss occurs when your jaw bone is no longer stimulated by the natural pressure of chewing and biting. Your tooth transmits this force through the root and into your jaw bone, which keeps your jaw bone healthy.
When you lose a tooth, this process stops, and the jaw bone tends to weaken. Since the post of the dental implant is placed directly into the jaw bone and acts as a tooth root, it re-stimulates your jaw bone by transmitting the force of chewing and biting once again.
Can dental implants be done in one day?
Some types of dental implant systems can be done in one day. The restoration is usually temporary until you have fully healed from your dental implant placement surgery. This solution allows you to speak and eat normally, however, the restoration is temporary. As your mouth heals, you’ll attend appointments at your doctor’s office where impressions will be taken. These impressions will guide the manufacturing of your restoration. This permanent restoration will be a more durable, long-lasting, and natural-looking prosthetic than your temporaries.