The roots of dental implants are surgically placed into your jawbone to replace missing teeth. The titanium in the implant fuses with your jawbone, preventing them from slipping, making noise, or harming your bone the way fixed bridgework or dentures may.
The materials are also resistant to decay, unlike your teeth, which support traditional bridgework.
In general, you might benefit from dental implants if you:
- Have one or more missing teeth
- Have a jawbone that’s reached total growth
- Have adequate bone to secure the implants or can have a bone graft
- Have healthy oral tissues
- Don’t have health conditions that will affect bone healing
- Are unable or unwilling to wear dentures
Types of Dental Implants
Endosteal dental implants are the most common type. They benefit most patients, but the jawbone must be strong and healthy for the post to fuse.
They act as stand-in posts and have a screw-like design. They fit into the jaw and are linked to the false teeth there.
The surgical wound requires some time to heal. It must have time to come together and strengthen itself. Once the wound has healed, the artificial teeth can be affixed to the post to match the neighboring teeth.
Another kind of dental implant is called a subperiosteal implant. This is the primary replacement for endosteal implants. Instead of being secured into the jawbone, subperiosteal implants rest on the jawbone but are still hidden beneath the gums.
A metal frame with a post attached to it is positioned beneath the gum. To maintain the frame in place, the gum heals around it. The false teeth are held in place by the wires that emerge from the gum.
A zygomatic implant is the least common type of dental implant that you can have. Only if your jawbone is too weak to sustain an Endosteal implant should you go through this difficult procedure. The implant is put into the cheekbone rather than the patient’s jawbone.
Different Dental Implant Healing Stages
Stage 1: Before Implant Placement
To decide whether you are a candidate for dental implants, your dentist evaluates the condition of your mouth and jawbone during your appointment. They can advise a bone graft or sinus lift surgery if your jawbone density or thickness is insufficient.
After a bone graft, the early healing stage can be completed in as little as two weeks, but full recovery can take up to nine months. Your dentist schedules the implant operation once the bone graft fully bonds to the jawbone.
You might have to wait up to ten weeks for the extraction site to heal before getting an implant to replace a badly damaged tooth that needs to be pulled and replaced with one.
Stage 2: After the Implant Post Placement
Your dentist needs to make a little incision in the gum tissue to access the jawbone beneath to insert the implant. The titanium post is then screwed into the bone after drilling a small hole. The gums are then gauze-packed and sutured.
There are two phases of healing after implant insertion. The surgical site must first recover, which could take two weeks. Following your dentist’s aftercare recommendations, including sleeping with your head elevated, altering your diet, and using a saltwater rinse, will hasten your recovery.
Osseointegration is the following phase of healing. The implant post bonds with your jawbone during osseointegration. For the abutment and restoration, this provides a solid foundation.
Depending on the number of implants you had and your immune system, this step could take eight weeks to nine months.
Stage 3: Placing the Abutment
You’ll go back to the dentist for a second, relatively simple procedure to put the abutment after the implant has integrated with your jaw. The dental restoration is attached to the implant post by the abutment.
The dentist cuts the gum tissue to expose the implant post during this surgery. They seal the gum tissue surrounding the implant after installing the abutment, but not over it.
It may take two weeks to a month for the wound to heal. Following the operation, you can have some slight swelling and discomfort. Use cold packs on your face and OTC painkillers to reduce swelling.
Stage 4: Placing the Restoration
You return to your dentist to obtain your dental restoration after your gums have healed around the abutment implantation. To ensure that the dental restoration matches your natural teeth, your dentist takes impressions of the teeth at the implant site and the abutment at this session.
The crown is made in an off-site facility for around two weeks. After this time, the dentist attaches the prosthesis to the dental implant rod by mounting it on the abutment. You have a full, stunning grin when you leave the appointment.
Are Dental Implants Safe?
Yes, Dental implants are safe. With a 98% success rate, dental implant treatments have been done safely for more than 50 years.
Dental implants can be a beneficial restoration that frequently lasts a lifetime if the patient takes the necessary precautions before the treatment, maintains good oral hygiene at home, and adheres to the aftercare recommendations given by the dentist.