A dental implant is a tooth replacement treatment that consists of a metal post and a tooth-shaped crown to fill the gap left by a missing tooth. Dental implants are considered the most durable tooth replacement method and can be used for both cosmetic and medical purposes.
The treatment is fairly invasive and might require several office appointments. If you are planning to get a dental implant, here is what your dentist will do to you:
Examine you: On your first meeting with the dentist, your mouth and tooth will be assessed to determine if you are ready to receive the treatment. Images and x-ray scans may also be taken to assist in creating digital impressions upon which the fabrication of your crown will be based.
Extract the tooth… if necessary: Tooth extraction, if necessary, occurs on your second scheduled appointment. An anesthetic will be used to numb the area and make the process as painless as possible.
Place the implant: During placement of the implant, a hole is drilled in your jawbone at the same exact place your old tooth was attached. In some cases, a bone graft may be required but this is usually a short and undemanding process.
Place the abutment: The abutment placement appointment may come several weeks or months after the implant insertion, depending on how long your jaw takes to heal. The abutment is mounted once the implant has completely fused with the jawbone. In some instances, the abutment may be placed on the same day as the implant.
Fixing the crown: A crown is a tooth-shaped device that is mounted on the abutment (a small connector attached to the implant) to fill up the gap above the implant.