The procedure for correcting dental problems with dental implants is a common, yet sometimes serious procedure with several significant steps in the process.
Dental implants are created by drilling out a space in the jaw bone, inserting a titanium implant directly into the jaw bone and letting the jaw bone fuse with the implant. Once the implant has fused to the jaw, a connecting ceramic crown is secured in place to the dental implant.
A variety of special techniques can be utilized depending on the state of the tooth implant site. Some methods can be completed in one single day if the current tooth site has healthy gum over good bone. More complex implants include grafting or growing new bone. This grafting procedure is considered very complex and can take up to half a year or longer to do.
If a tooth needs to be extracted because it is decayed or damaged, as long as the surrounding gum is not damaged, the dental implant may be installed on the same day during the same dental visit when the tooth is removed. If a tooth is placed during the same day as the extraction, a temporary crown is typically placed on the implant and is later replaced with a permanent crown once the bone fusion is complete. During the healing process, it is best only eat soft foods until the dental implants have completely healed.
Most dental implants are completed over a few months, requiring a few visits to the dental office. After an implant is installed into the jaw bone, it will need to fuse for roughly 3-6 months. Once the fusing stage is complete, a post, known as an abutment, is inserted in the implant. The next step is to remove the cast from the teeth and a crown made to match the existing tooth. These new teeth are adhered to the abutment.
A complicated dental implant process occurs when the bone structure is weak. Weak jaw bones can lead to one of the most complicated dental implant procedures. In some cases a bone graft may be needed to help the jaw support the implant. Bone grafts stimulate bone growth in the jaw and must be allowed to heal before the dental implant is installed. Bone grafts can make the process very lengthy.
Another option for weak jaw bones is a custom fit plate placed between the jaw and the gum. This plate is installed if the bone structure is not in good condition for a dental implant. In order to determine accurate jaw bone health, measurements using a CAT scan may be utilized or a cast cane be made by exposing the jaw.
Consult with your dentist to discuss which dental implant procedure is right for you. Your dentist could possibly perform the surgery at their office, or in more complex cases, you may be referred to a specialist such as a periodontist.