Dental Implants Procedure Overview
Dental implants rely on osseointegration to create a stable connection between a titanium implant and the jawbone. During osseointegration, the bone grows into direct contact with the implant, holding it firmly in place. Here’s a brief overview of the treatment process provided by Dr. Norton:
- Consultation – This includes a full oral exam, medical history, x-rays and a CT scan. This information is used to determine if you are a good candidate for dental implants as well as what size and shape of implant to use.
- Preparation – If you have a tooth root in place, this is removed. The gum is opened slightly to expose the jawbone.
- Placement – A tiny hole is drilled in your jawbone and the titanium implant is screwed or fitted in place.
- Healing – This phase lasts 3-6 months. During this time, your jawbone heals around the implant.
- Abutment – A small metal post is attached to the implant and your gum is allowed to heal again (this recovery period is much shorter).
- Restoration – A custom fabricated porcelain crown that looks like your natural teeth is fitted to the abutment.
More Information about Dental Implants
This dental treatment generally has a higher up-front cost than traditional crowns and bridges. The restoration process also takes much longer. However, the investment in time and money can more than pay for itself with a reduction in dental interventions over your lifetime. Just be sure to practice excellent dental hygiene so you don’t lose more teeth!