A dental implant is a small titanium screw that serves as an anchor for the root portion of a missing tooth. The new implant is fixed into the upper or lower jaw bone, which gives your replacement tooth the strength and stability of a natural tooth.
Whether you are missing one or several teeth due to injury, disease or decay; you may be a candidate for dental implants, which can be used to replace your missing teeth.They will look, feel, and function like your natural teeth. Patients are usually concerned with their age and wonder if they are too old for dental implants, but age is not a deciding factor, overall health is.
If you are healthy enough to get a tooth removed you should be able to receive dental implants. If your are considering dental implants as a solution to a missing or decayed tooth, your mouth must undergo a thorough examination and your dental history reviewed. If it is determined that your mouth is not ideal for dental implants there are other treatments that can explored to improve the outcome, such as bone grafting, may be advised.
The procedure for placing a dental implant is fairly simple. After a thorough examination of your general and oral health, studying the relevant X-rays and possibly CT scans (if indicated), a dental implant of the appropriate size is selected.
The procedure involves first administering local anesthesia in order to numb the area. The implant site is then cleansed and a scalpel is used to make a small incision in the gum over the jaw bone (implant site). Sometimes the implant is placed directly through the gum, if the clinician prefers. A slow speed rotary instrument is then used to drill a hole within the jaw bone, slightly lesser in depth and width than the implant itself. The implant is then introduced into the prepared site and tightened gently with the designated instruments. Once it is firmly in place, a healing screw is inserted within the implant to prevent gums from growing over the implant site. The gum may either be left as is or sutured over the implant, depending upon its clinical need.
Dental implants are left undisturbed for 2-6 months to allow adequate healing and fusion with bone. Since they are made of titanium, bone cells are attracted towards the implant and fuse around it, integrating the implant within the bone. This phenomenon is known as Osseointegration and is the key to long-term implant success.
Once your implants are in place, they will serve you well for years to come, providing you take your daily hygiene routine seriously and keep regular visits with our†Richmond Hill Dental Office†or Downsview Dental Office.