Definition: An artificial substitute (usually titanium) for the tooth root that is surgically implanted into the jawbone. On top of which, a replacement tooth or bridge will be mounted.
How does it work?
There are two methods for dental implants:
Endosteal implants - the titanium prosthesis is implanted directly into the jawbone;
Subperiosteal implants - the implant consists of a metal frame that is placed onto the jawbone, just below the gum tissue;
After the osseointegration (the process in which the jawbone around the implant heals), a process that takes from 6 to 12 weeks, the abutment (a connector post) is attached to the implant to hold the new tooth. Then, the dentist will make an impression of the teeth and the bite and will attach the new tooth (called a crown) or teeth (called a bridge) to the abutment. The new tooth (teeth) should match the color of the natural teeth for an aesthetic look.
What are the risks?
Reaction to medication administered during the procedure;
Fracture of the implant;
Damage to the surrounding areas - blood vessels, nerves, teeth;
Poor positioning of the implants or poor osseointegration;
How to prepare for the procedure?
You should get an X-ray of your entire oral cavity, to see the bone structure and make sure that it is fit for the implant. A good oral hygiene is required at all times before and after the implant. After the implant is inserted, you should pay close attention of the food you eat.
How long does the procedure take?
The osseointegration takes several months, but after the abutment is inserted you may opt for temporary teeth until the new teeth are produced.
How to recover after the procedure?
There is no special recovery process other than providing a good oral hygiene. The follow-up visits with your dentist are a must.