When one or more of the teeth are missing, the oral surgeon will recommend the best option to replace them. The alternative to bridges, partial or full dentures are dental implants, which replace the root of the lost tooth and support a dental prosthesis. They are the closest option to natural teeth available. Continue reading to learn how an oral surgeon uses implants to replace and restore teeth.
Overview of dental implants
A dental implant is an artificial tooth root made from titanium. It is placed inside the jawbone to serve the role of the missing tooth root. An artificial tooth prosthesis is connected to the implant, which means the dental implant serves as an anchor to ensure a stable dental restoration. Patients who have missing teeth need to consult a dental specialist who has additional training in this area: a oral surgeon.
Those who are in good health, have healthy gums and have adequate bone in their jaw may be eligible to get dental implants. If the jawbone has deteriorated or not fully developed, the surgeon may recommend undergoing a bone graft procedure to build up the bone. A bone graft process involves adding bone from internal or external sources to the jawbone. The dental specialist will inform the patient if the procedure is an option to consider.
The dental replacement process
The oral surgeon will examine the patient’s mouth carefully and probably take X-rays of the oral cavity to know if the patient is a suitable candidate for a dental implant.
In the first part of the teeth restoration process, the dentist will place dental implants inside the jawbone underneath the gum tissue, then stitch up the gum tissue. As the bone heals, the implant will fuse with it and bond with the gums. The healing process, known as osseointegration, can take several months to complete.
During the second stage of the process and after the bone heals, the oral surgeon will connect an abutment to the dental implant. The abutment is a small piece that connects the dental prosthesis to the implant. Sometimes, this process may also be done during the implant placement procedure.
The dentist will have the artificial replacement teeth created using the dental impressions of the patient. The process may require multiple appointments. When the final restoration is ready, the dentist will affix it to the abutment. When several or all teeth need to be replaced, the dentist will anchor a fixed bridge or denture to the dental implants. The bridge or denture spans the area of missing teeth and is held firmly in place.
An experienced oral surgeon can replace and restore missing teeth with dental implant placement. When you schedule your initial consultation, the dental specialist will discuss your goals for tooth replacement and develop a treatment plan to help you achieve your smile goals and restore oral health and functions. To learn more, feel free to book an appointment with the dental office for a consultation.
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