Your dentist may have recommended a dental implant to replace missing teeth, but have you ever wondered how the various components and processes work together to make you feel at ease with the implant? Our North York dentists talk about the main components of a dental implant today.
What is a dental implant?
Dental implants can be surgically placed into the jawbone as part of the process to replace a missing tooth and protect your oral health. When combined with a crown or other tooth replacement, implants have a natural look and feel.
They can help treat numerous oral health concerns, prevent surrounding teeth from moving, help resolve bite issues and jaw joint pain and help preserve the aesthetic appearance and tissue in a patient's facial area.
The implant itself (also referred to as the fixture) is typically made with titanium and surgically placed beneath the gums.
After the surgeon drills a small hole to replace the missing tooth's roots, the permanent implant, shaped like a screw, will be placed in the jawbone. The fixture bonds to the jawbone as the tissue heals, a process known as osseointegration, which allows the implant to remain permanently in your mouth.
Titanium is usually used since it's known to be well-accepted by the human body. Using proper materials increases the chance that osseointegration and other parts of the process will go smoothly, and reduces the risk of corrosion and other complications.
An extender is attached to the false tooth since the implant itself is placed entirely beneath the gumline. Called the abutment, this short screw extends at or directly over the gum line to support the tooth replacement.
The abutment is usually attached after osseointegration has occurred and can be made of tooth-coloured material or metal. A dentist may, however, place a fixture, abutment, and temporary restoration all at the same time.
3. Tooth Replacement
Return to your dentist's office three to six months after surgery to have your tooth replacement - a crown, bridge, or denture - attached. The replacement (or prosthesis) will resemble your natural teeth in appearance and function and can be made of porcelain, ceramic, or other materials.
Your tooth replacement and the dental implant as a whole will work like a natural tooth and roots, which means you can chew and speak as you would normally - without the need to remove or replace false teeth.
Replace Missing Teeth to Preserve Your Oral Health
Whichever tooth replacement option you and your dentist choose, it's critical to have missing teeth replaced as soon as possible to avoid jaw and gum tissue deterioration. If your teeth deteriorate, it can lead to more problems for your oral and overall health, and the teeth around the gap may shift out of place, causing bite issues and uneven teeth.
At North Park Dental Care, we're here to help diagnose any oral health issues you may have and determine the right treatment plan for you. If you are missing teeth or are experiencing other issues with your oral health, schedule a dental examination and cleaning today.