Your dentist might have recommended a dental implant to replace missing teeth, but have you ever wondered about the parts and processes that will work together to help you feel comfortable living with an implant? Today, our Toronto 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 help treat a variety of oral health issues, including preventing surrounding teeth from moving, resolving bite issues and jaw joint pain, and preserving the aesthetic appearance and tissue in a patient's facial area.
The implant itself (also referred to as the fixture) is typically made with titanium and surgically placed beneath the gums.
The permanent implant, which is shaped like a screw, will be placed in the jawbone after the surgeon drills a small hole to replace the missing tooth's roots. As the tissue heals, the fixture bonds to the jawbone in a process known as osseointegration, allowing the implant to remain permanently 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 can be made of tooth-coloured material or metal and is usually attached after osseointegration. However, a dentist may place a fixture, abutment, and a temporary restoration all at the same time.
3. Tooth Replacement
You'll return to your dentist's office three to six months after your surgery to have the tooth replacement - a crown, bridge, or denture - attached. The replacement (or prosthesis) will be made of porcelain, ceramic, or other materials and will look and function similarly to your natural teeth.
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
Whichever tooth replacement option you and your dentist choose, it is critical to replace missing teeth as soon as possible to prevent deterioration of the jaw and gum tissues. If your oral and overall health suffers as a result of deterioration, the teeth surrounding the gap may shift out of position, resulting in bite issues and uneven teeth.
At Capitol Dentistry, 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.