If you’re missing one or more teeth due to genetics or life circumstances, you have a few options available to replace those missing teeth. One of the most attractive and permanent options is a dental implant. Since the implant itself is actually placed directly into the jaw bone, the end result is often stronger and more stable than your natural teeth. Given this permanency, it’s likely you have questions about the process of getting an implant and the results you can expect to achieve with an implant, since any implants you get will likely outlast even your natural teeth.
Dental implants are made up of three basic components: the implant, the abutment, and the crown. The implant is a small metal device that is surgically implanted into your jaw bone. This surgery is typically done at one of a number of dental clinics by an oral surgeon, not a regular dentist. Often, oral surgeons who perform implant procedures have a specialization in implants to ensure you get the best possible results. During the procedure, you will be placed under anesthesia and/or be put to sleep to ensure you feel no pain.
After you receive your implants, you will receive a healing cap or abutment to allow your gums to heal around the implant. Then, the final abutment will be screwed into place and a temporary crown will be installed. Your gums will be given time to grow around the temporary crown so that they resemble the gums around your natural teeth. Typically, this process, including healing and growth, can take eight weeks or more. It’s important to be patient during this time, as that will help ensure the most beautiful final results. After gum growth has completed, your permanent crown will be put into place.
Despite its small size, your implant is, in many ways, a technological marvel. The implant itself is made from titanium to help keep weight low and ensure that it lasts for many decades. The crown is typically made from porcelain, metal, or porcelain fused to a metal alloy, depending on the crown’s location in your mouth. The color and shape of each crown is customized to the color and shape of your teeth to ensure a perfect match, meaning that no one will be able to tell the difference between your natural teeth and your implants.
Your regular dentist, though not involved in the placement of the implant, still plays an important role in the implant process. A dentist like Michaels Dental will typically be the individual who helps you select your final crown and will also be the individual who puts it into place. Perhaps most importantly, your regular dentist will help you maintain and care for your implant through the years. They will watch for continued healthy gums around the implant and ensure that proper healing of the bone continues to take place. Also, if you ever experience any problems with your implants, your dentist will be the one to consult.
Implants can be a great way to replace missing teeth and gain back lost confidence. They are solid, easy to maintain, and totally realistic. So long as you remain patient throughout the process and follow your surgeon’s and dentist’s recommendations, you can expect to receive great results with your implants that can truly last a lifetime.