What is a Dental Implant?
Dental Implants Houston
A dental implant is a screw-like prosthetic that is fixed into the jawbone and acts as a tooth root. This tooth root fuses to the jawbone and forms a stable foundation for a dental crown, allowing you to chew, speak, and smile with confidence.
At Alexandra Garcia, DDS, MS, Dr. Garcia and Dr. Alexandra Garcia recommend the use of dental implants to replace your missing teeth.
What are the Components Involved in a Dental Implant Procedure?
A dental implant consists of the following elements:
|The Implant: The implant is a titanium prosthetic that is designed to be placed in your upper and lower jaw. The hypoallergenic material can fuse seamlessly with your jawbone, resulting in a stable foundation for an artificial tooth.
|The Abutment: The abutment is a rod-like connection made from titanium, porcelain, and much less frequently, gold. The abutment is attached to the implant with a screw and is used to attach the dental crown to the implant. It is shaped like a natural tooth that has been scaled down to accommodate a crown.
|The Crown Restoration: This is an artificial crown typically made from porcelain fused to metal alloy, although in some cases, it is made of porcelain, silver, and gold as well. The crown is tightly cemented on top of the abutment, allowing you to bite and chew your food.
Types of Dental Implants
According to the American Dental Association, there are two types of dental implant surgeries that are considered safe:
Endosteal implant surgery is the most common type of surgery. During this process, the dental implant is placed directly into the jawbone. Once the wound is healed, the gums are cut again and the abutment is placed on the implant. The abutment supports a single crown or a group of artificial teeth on a dental bridge.
These implants involve a metal framework that is embedded beneath the gums but above the jawbone. As the gums heal, the frame becomes tightly affixed to the jaw. Metal posts connected to the framework protrude from the gum tissues and can mount artificial teeth. Subperiosteal implants typically work well for people with low bone height.
The Dental Implant Process
At Alexandra Garcia, DDS, MS, it can take several months to over a year to complete the dental implant process. We will anesthetize the area on the jaw, will make an incision in your gums, and make a small hole into your jawbone. The dental implant is placed into your jawbone and will fuse to the bone over a period of three to six months through a process called osseointegration.
Once the implant is fused, we will make an incision in the gums covering the implant and attach an abutment to it. We will then take an impression of your teeth and mouth and send it to the dental lab to craft an artificial crown. Once the crown has been made, we will attach it on top of the abutment.
What is Bone Augmentation?
If you have low bone density, you may need to undergo a bone augmentation process to grow healthy and strong bone in your jaw. We will make an incision in the gums to expose the underlying bone and pack that space with a bone grafting material and collagen that will help in bone growth.
Depending on the health of the jaw, this process can take three to six months. After that, you will have a strong jaw that can firmly hold a dental implant.
Your dental implant will look and feel almost exactly like a natural tooth and require the same amount of oral care. It will also allow you to bite and chew, like your natural tooth. If you are missing one or more teeth, it is important that you get them replaced by dental implants. Schedule an appointment with us today by calling (346) 250-2930 so that we determine whether you are a good candidate for a dental implant.