Dental implants are artificial tooth roots that are surgically placed into the jawbone to support a replacement tooth or bridge. They are made of titanium, a biocompatible material that can fuse with the surrounding bone tissue, providing a stable foundation for the artificial teeth.
The surgical procedure for dental implants typically involves several steps:
Evaluation: The dentist will evaluate the patient's oral health and determine if they are a good candidate for dental implants. This may involve taking X-rays and CT scans to assess the bone density and shape.
Implant Placement: The implant placement procedure is typically performed under local anesthesia. The dentist will make a small incision in the gum tissue to expose the jawbone and then drill a small hole for the implant. The implant is then placed into the hole and secured in place.
Osseointegration: Over the next few months, the implant will fuse with the surrounding bone tissue through a process called osseointegration. During this time, the patient may wear a temporary restoration to maintain the aesthetic appearance of the mouth.
Abutment Placement: Once the implant has fully integrated with the bone tissue, the dentist will attach an abutment to the implant. The abutment is a small connector piece that attaches the implant to the replacement tooth or bridge.
Restoration Placement: Finally, the replacement tooth or bridge is attached to the abutment, completing the dental implant procedure.
Overall, the dental implant procedure is a safe and effective way to replace missing teeth and restore oral function and aesthetics. It is important to follow the dentist's post-operative instructions to ensure proper healing and maintain the longevity of the implant.