Articles How Are Dental Implants Fitted In The Mouth?
Dental implants are an increasingly popular option for replacing missing teeth, but what exactly are they and how are they placed?
What are dental implants?
Dental implants are small titanium devices, which are fitted into the jaw bone to act as a replacement for the tooth root. Implants are compatible with a range of different restorations, including bridges, crowns and dentures and once they have settled, they can be attached to the prosthesis to complete the replacement process. Once the implant is connected to the restoration, the tooth should look exactly like a natural tooth. Treatment takes around 3-8 months, as it takes time for the implant to integrate into the bone tissue; this process is called osseointegration and it results in the implant providing the same level of stability as a strong tooth root.
How are dental implants fitted?
Implants are fitted into sockets in the jaw bone in a procedure, which is usually carried out under local anaesthetic or sedation. Once the anaesthetic has taken effect, your dentist will make an incision in the gum and lift a small flap in order to access the jaw bone. They will the drill a small opening in the bone and this will serve as the socket for the implant. The implant is then inserted and fixed into position and the gum flap is closed.
After the implant has healed and settled fully (usually around 3-6 months later), the implant can then be attached to a crown, denture or dental bridge and this replaces the visible part of the tooth. Sometimes, a temporary restoration is fitted immediately after the first procedure to bridge the gap.
Following implant treatment, you will be advised to see your dentist for regular check-ups and your dentist will give you some information about caring for your implants.
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