Have you been considering dental implants but aren't sure if they're the right option for you? Implants offer benefits that other tooth replacement options don't. Dr. Nguyen D.D.S. of Emerson Dental shares a few facts about her process of placing a dental implant.
Dental implants offer a permanent solution
Because your implant integrates with the bone in your jaw, it becomes a permanent part of your mouth. During the first step in the implant process, your dentist creates a small hole in your jaw and places a titanium implant inside it. Titanium is the preferred implant material because the metal easily bonds to surrounding bone. Once the implant integrates with your jawbone, it provides a secure foundation for the crown that will be attached to it. Osseointegration usually takes about three to six months. After the implant fuses with the bone, your dentist will add an abutment, which will connect your new crown to your implant.
Dental implants provide important benefits
Your roots don't just anchor your teeth in your jaw. They also provide the constant stimulation your jawbone needs to stay strong. When you lose a tooth, the underlying bone begins to shrink or weaken because it no longer receives any stimulation. Eventually, facial sagging can occur due to changes in the jawbone, particularly if you've lost several teeth. Implants help keep your jawbone strong and prevent shrinking.
Although implants may have a relatively high initial cost, the lifetime cost of a dental implant is usually actually lower than the cost of bridges and dentures. Since these appliances must be replaced periodically, you'll actually pay for them more than once. An implant only requires a one-time cost.
Step 1- Consultation: The first step to any dental implant procedure is diagnosis and treatment planning. Dr. Nguyen will perform a thorough evaluation of general and local health conditions, anatomical structure and treatment options, utilizing the technologies in our office. This process includes taking a CT scan to evaluate your bone density and nerve locations. Once those are established, she will offer the best treatment options for you.
Step 2 - Implant placement: Under local anesthetic and/or oral sedation, Dr. Nguyen will open the gum tissue and place the implant fixture (post) directly into the jaw bone. As this heals, the implant fixture will integrate with the bone and serve as a new root for a permanent tooth replacement.
Step 3 - Healing: Depending on your personal treatment plan, the implant is sometimes left buried during the healing process. Once the implant has integrated, the gums are reshaped to fit carefully around the prospective artificial tooth.
Step 4 - Abutment Placement: After the implant fixture has healed and integrated into the bone, the treating area will be scanned and an abutment (the component which connects the implant fixture to the crown) is chosen by your dentist. From scan, the laboratory can design and create a custom-made permanent restoration. It is designed and made to blend and fit well with the surrounding and adjacent teeth.
Step 5 - Prosthetic Placement: The custom made dental prosthesis is fitted in the mouth. The crown or bridge is placed on top of the abutment and functions as if it were your original tooth.
Step 6 - After care: Routine check-ups and cleanings are required to ensure correct care and maintenance of the implant is being undertaken.
Are you interested in replacing a lost tooth or teeth with dental implants? Call Emerson Dental at (253) 565-2895 to schedule an appointment. Improve your smile with dental implants!