A dental implant is a small titanium rod surgically placed into your jawbone to replace the root of a lost tooth. The implant integrates into the jaw's bone and becomes a strong and permanent anchor for a dental crown, bridge, or denture. Dental implants provide long-lasting support for your smile and highly benefit oral health. In addition to supporting replacement teeth, dental implants prevent the deterioration of the jawbone that occurs when teeth are lost.
Who Is a Good Candidate for Dental Implants?
Most healthy adults are candidates for dental implants, but a few exceptions exist. Dental implants require enough bone to support them. If you lack this support, you may have to undergo a bone grafting procedure before receiving your implants.
Patients who suffer from chronic health conditions like diabetes or heart disease may need to wait for treatment before having an implant placed. Patients who smoke or use tobacco products are also more likely to experience implant failure than non-smokers, so quitting smoking is essential before dental implant surgery. Smoking also slows the healing process and increases the risk of complications after surgery.
Types of Dental Implants
Endosteal implants are the most commonly used type of dental implant because they offer stability and strength that other options cannot match. They are implanted directly into the jawbone, which allows them to become a permanent part of your mouth.
Subperiosteal implants consist of a frame fitted on top of the jawbone. They require less surgery than endosteal implants, but a patient’s jaw may reject them if they are not correctly sized for installation.
The Dental Implant Procedure
The dentist will numb the area using a local anesthetic before beginning the surgery to place the implants in the jaw. The gum tissue is then opened to expose the bone, and a channel is cut into the bone where the implant will be placed. A tiny hole is then drilled into the bone, and the implant is placed.
Once the implant is stabilized, it will take several weeks for the site to heal around the implant's surface. During this time, a temporary crown or bridge can be worn over the implant site to protect it from damage until the healing process is completed.
Once recovery is complete, the healing cap is removed, and an abutment is attached to the implant. Our dentist will take impressions of your teeth to create your custom-crafted restoration. When your final restoration is ready, your dental implant will be permanently affixed to your restoration.
If you want to learn more about the benefits of dental implants, visit Spencer Dental at 207 Southdowne Dr, Maryville, TN, 37801, or call (865) 983-5451 to schedule an appointment.