Dental implants are replacements for teeth that are missing or have been extracted. An implant is a titanium screw inserted into your jawbone to replace the missing root of your natural tooth. Titanium is used because it is bio-compatible with human bone and integrates easily into the jawbone through osseointegration.
The first step of the implant procedure involves surgically placing the dental implant into the jawbone and waiting for it to heal and integrate with the bone tissue, which takes a few months. Once healing is complete, our dentist will place an abutment and then finalize the procedure by placing a custom dental crown.
The Benefits of Dental Implants
Dental implants look and feel like natural teeth and provide a seamless and fully functional restoration. No one will be able to tell the difference between your natural teeth and implant-supported teeth.
Dental implants restore the ability to bite and chew properly. Unlike removable dentures that may slip out or cause discomfort, implants provide a stable foundation for chewing, allowing you to enjoy a wide range of foods without restrictions.
When a tooth is lost, the underlying jawbone can deteriorate over time due to a lack of stimulation. Dental implants mimic the function of natural tooth roots and stimulate the jawbone through chewing forces, helping to preserve bone density and maintain the integrity of the facial structure.
The Procedure for Dental Implants
The first stage involves the placement of the dental implant into the jawbone. The procedure is usually performed under local anesthesia; sedation or general anesthesia may also be used to ensure patient comfort.
The dentist will make an incision in the gum tissue to expose the underlying bone and then drill a small hole in the bone to insert the implant. The implant is typically made from biocompatible titanium and is designed to replace the missing tooth's root.
After the implant is placed, the surrounding gum tissue is sutured, and a healing period of several weeks to months follows. During this time, osseointegration occurs, a process in which the bone fuses with the implant's surface, providing a stable foundation.
Once osseointegration has occurred, a minor surgical procedure is performed to expose the top of the implant and place an abutment. This involves making a small incision in the gum tissue to access the implant. The abutment connects the implant and the final restoration. The gum tissue is then allowed to heal around the abutment over the course of a few weeks.
After the gum tissue has healed, impressions of your teeth and bite are taken to create the final restoration. The restoration may be a dental crown for the replacement of a single tooth or a bridge or denture for the replacement of multiple missing teeth. The final restoration is custom-made to match your natural teeth in terms of color, shape, and size, providing a functional and aesthetically pleasing result.
Dental implants offer several advantages over other tooth replacement options, as they closely mimic the look, feel, and function of natural teeth. Visit Ragan Family Dentistry at 201 S 3rd St., McAlester, OK 74501, or call (918) 426 - 9900 to learn more about dental implants.