Dental implants help restore a natural look to your smile by providing permanent replacement of the teeth. Since they’re anchored in the jaw bone, the implanted teeth feel and look like the natural ones. The success rate of dental implants is approximately 95 percent.
You can be approved for the dental implants if you’re willing to go through a long process of implanting and have enough bone in the jaw so as to support the dental implants. You may need bone graft in case your jaw bone isn’t strong enough for the implants. If you have health condition which can slow the healing process, it may be less likely to be successful. The dental implants aren’t usually applied in children until complete jaw bone growth is achieved.
Before beginning the procedure, dentist will evaluate your teeth and take x-rays of the mouth and he will also determine if you need a bone graft before the implantation. Bone graft may be necessary if the bone is too thin or soft and will not be able to support the dental implant. During the procedure of bone grafting, a small piece of bone is removed from another area of the jaw or hip and placed in the weak area of the jaw. If the grafted area is large, it may take several months for the new bone area to support the implant.
Placement of the dental implant is a multi-step process that often takes between three to nine months to complete. The first step in the process is to drill holes in the bone to place metal implant cylinder which serves as implant’s root. It may take up to six months for the bone to grow around it and fix it in place. You’ll be given local or general anesthesia or sedation while the holes are perforated and may need to eat soft foods for several days after the procedure. Because part of the dental implants that is visible above the gum line has not yet been received, it can be given a provisional to cover the gap in mouth.
When the metal cylinder is firmly anchored in jaw bone, the abutment is placed which connects the crown, portion of the dental implants that resembles a tooth to the metal cylinder. Abutment’s placement requires a small incision in gingiva to reach the metal cylinder. Local anesthesia is usually used for this step. After placement of the abutment, your gums will have to heal for a few weeks before the process of dental implants can continue.
Once the area around heals, your dentist will make an impression of your mouth. The impression will be sent to a prosthetist, who specializes in manufacture of artificial teeth, so that the crown can be made. You can choose to have a fixed dental implant prosthesis, a crown definitely consolidated on the abutment, or you can opt for a removable prosthesis. A removable prosthesis fits in place and can be removed for cleaning, somewhat similar to prostheses.