Dental implants can be used to replace teeth that have been removed. Dental implants differ from dentures and dental bridges because they are placed directly into your jawbone. This placement gives them a permanence and stability that is unmatched by other forms of tooth replacement. Getting dental implants can prevent bone loss. Implants can keep your remaining teeth from shifting to fill the gap that your extracted tooth leaves behind. Here are four things that will occur when you choose to get dental implants:
1. Your dentist will examine your mouth and jaw.
Not everyone is a good candidate for dental implants. Since implants impact your gums and bones, these parts of your body need to be healthy and strong enough to support your new implants. Your dentist will check to make sure your gums are in good health. They will also take x-rays to check your bone density. You will need to have a sufficient amount of jawbone in order to be a good candidate for implants.
2. Your implants will be put in place.
During the actual implant procedure, your dentist will make a small incision in your gums after administering anesthetic. This incision will extend down to your jawbone. Your dentist will make a small hole in your bone using a dental drill. After these preparations are complete, a metal rod will be inserted. Your dentist will let you know ahead of time how many dental implants you need. A single dental implant can support one or more tooth prostheses.
3. There will be a healing period.
The dental implant procedure is lengthy because your jawbone and gums need time to heal after the initial implant placement. As your body heals, your jawbone will fuse around the dental implant, firmly securing it in place. Your prosthetic tooth will not be put in place until after you have fully healed. This recovery period can take a few months, so you will need to be patient. You may be given a temporary prosthesis in the meantime, which will protect your implant as it heals.
4. The final prosthesis will be installed.
Your prosthetic tooth will be attached to the metal rod of your dental implant. Dental prostheses are typically made of ceramic or metal coated with ceramic. Ceramic is durable, and its translucent finish closely mimics the look of tooth enamel. Once your prosthesis is installed, you will be able to chew normally.