Dental implants are small, screw-like devices that are surgically placed into the jawbone to serve as the root of a missing tooth. The implant is typically made of titanium, a biocompatible material that fuses with the bone over time to create a strong and sturdy foundation for the replacement tooth.
Once the implant has been placed and has had time to integrate with the bone, an abutment is attached to the top of the implant. The abutment is a small metal piece that extends above the gum line and provides a stable base for the new tooth.
The replacement tooth, called a crown, is then custom-made to match the shape, size, and color of the surrounding teeth. The crown is attached to the abutment and becomes the new visible portion of the tooth.
The entire process of placing a dental implant can take several months and typically requires multiple visits to the dentist. The first step is to prepare the site where the implant will be placed by removing any damaged or decayed tissue and cleaning the area.
Next, the implant is surgically placed into the jawbone using a specialized surgical guide to ensure that it is placed at the correct angle and depth. Once the implant is in place, the gum tissue is closed with sutures, and the site is left to heal for several weeks.
During this healing period, the implant will fuse with the surrounding bone, a process known as osseointegration. This creates a strong and stable foundation for the replacement tooth.
Once the implant has fully integrated with the bone, the dentist will attach the abutment and take impressions of the surrounding teeth to create a custom crown. The crown is then attached to the abutment and becomes the new visible portion of the tooth.
Dental implants are a highly effective and long-lasting solution for missing teeth. They can restore the function and appearance of the teeth and improve overall oral health.