What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are replacement dental roots. The implants give the solid base for fixed or permanent or removable replacement teeth that are formed to match the natural teeth.
The success rates of dental implants vary, depending on where in the jaw the implants are placed, but, in general, dental implants have a success rate of up to 98%. With proper care (see below), implants can last a lifetime.
Steps in the process of Dental Implants
The first step in the dental implantation process is the development of an individualized treatment plan. The plan meets your specific needs and is prepared by a team of specially trained and experienced professionals in oral surgery and restorative dentistry. This team approach offers coordinated care based on the implant option that works best for you.
Then, the dental root implant, which is a small titanium post, is placed in the bone socket of the missing tooth. As the jaw heals, it pushes around the implanted metal pole, anchoring safely in the jaw. The healing process can take six to 12 weeks.
Once the implant has glued to the jaw, a small connector post – called a stop – is attached to the post to securely hold the new tooth. To make the new tooth or new teeth, your dentist makes impressions of your teeth and creates a pattern of your bite (which captures all your teeth, their type, and arrangement). The new tooth or new teeth are based on this model. A replacement tooth called the crown is then fixed to the stop.
Instead of one or more individual crowns, some patients may have attachments placed on the implant that retains and support a removable prosthesis.
Your dentist will also match the color of the new teeth to your natural teeth. Because the implant is secured in the jaw, the replacement teeth look, feel and function as your own natural teeth.