Tooth loss not only causes chewing and speaking difficulties, but can eventually lead to jawbone loss. This can make the remaining teeth shift from their positions and even alter your facial appearance by making it seem more sunk in.
Dental implants serve as tooth roots that are placed into the jawbone in order to replace missing teeth. Crowns are later placed on top of implants, so that your natural tooth can be effectively replaced.
Types of Dental Implants
There are three main kinds of dental implants that you can opt for. Here is a brief overview:
These are the most common type of implants and are best for people who have a healthy jawbone for the implant to attach to. These implants look like screws and are inserted into the jawbone where the tooth is missing.
Once the dental implant surgery is completed, it takes some time for the implant to fuse with the jawbone. After the site of the surgery is healed, the artificial tooth is fixed onto the post and made to adjust with the neighboring teeth.
These are a major alternative to endosteal implants. Instead of being placed into the jawbone, these implants are simply positioned on top of the bone. However, they are still placed beneath the gum.
The procedure involves placing a metal frame beneath the gum with a post fixed to it. The gum gradually heals around the frame to keep it in position. The artificial teeth are attached to the poles that jut out from the gum.
This type of implant is most suitable if you have insufficient jawbone for implant placement, or if you simply do not want to go through invasive bone graft surgery to add bone to the site.
Zygomatic implants are the least common among the three types. This surgery involves a complex procedure and should only be opted for if you lack the amount of jawbone required for an endosteal implant.
These dental implants are fixed to the cheekbone rather than the jawbone. Zygomatic implants are less invasive than grafting procedures and also involve fewer visits to the dental clinic.
Dental Implant Procedure
During the first stage in a dental implant procedure, your dentist will visually examine the area inside of your mouth where the implant is required. They will also inspect the quality and quantity of the jawbone to determine whether or not additional bone is needed at the site.
The oral surgery usually begins with tooth extraction. An existing damaged tooth is usually present at the site of the surgery. It requires extraction in order to place a dental implant there. At times, a bone graft is also required to solidify the foundation for the implant.
After ensuring a jawbone is strong enough, the implant is inserted into it using specialized tools. To finish off, the implant is covered with a “healing cap,” the gum is stitched, and the healing process commences.
Dental implant surgery is conducted under local anesthetic, making it a painless procedure. If you are suffering from tooth loss, an implant may be just what you need. Schedule an appointment with us at Alexandra Garcia, DDS, MS by giving us a call at (346) 250-2930 today.
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