When a patient has lost one or more teeth, dental implants can restore function and look natural. A dental implant is comprised of a titanium post, a connector rod called an abutment and an artificial tooth called a crown. An implant is used to replace a tooth when there is no root system left in the gums. Implants are usually permanent but can also just be connectors for a set of removable dentures.
The procedure begins with the administration of a local anesthetic. The dentist then drills a hole very slowly through the gums where the missing tooth was located and continues into the bone beyond it. This creates a hole in the bone behind the gums. The titanium post is then placed in this hole. At this point, the procedure cannot continue until the bone grows around the post and fuses to it. This can take two to four months.
Once this has fused, the next step is to insert the abutment into the post. The crown is then placed on the abutment, and the implant is complete.
After the procedure, patients can expect swelling and bruising around the implant. Minor bleeding and some pain may also occur. It can take up to six months to recover fully, and it is important that the patient see the dentist regularly during this time to avoid problems that may cause the implant to fail. Read More