What Are Dental Implants?
A dental implant is a titanium screw that is surgically placed into the jawbone. Each implant attaches to an abutment, or support structure, which links the implant to the restoration. Thanks to recent technological advancements, implants can be used to support a single crown, fixed bridge, or an entire arch of prosthetic teeth! Most restorations are made using porcelain, zirconia, or some other ceramic compound. Because they are surgically implanted into your jaw, implant-supported restorations look, feel, and function just like your natural teeth.
The Dental Implant Process
During your consultation, J. Andrew Bagley DDS or W. Ryan Bagley DDS will perform a comprehensive exam to determine if you are a suitable candidate for dental implants. This may include a digital CBCT scan, x-rays, photographs, and a screening of your teeth and gums. Most patients who are healthy enough to undergo a routine extraction will qualify for implants. Implants also require a sufficient amount of bone in the jaw. If the bone is too thin or too soft, you may need to receive a bone graft. A bone graft allows new, healthy bone to form in the jaw and ensures the success of your implant. Once we have determined you are a suitable candidate, we can move forward with implant treatment.
The implant process is typically broken into two surgeries. During your first surgery, we will make a small incision in the gum tissue and expose the underlying bone. Next, we will drill a small hole into the bone and place the implant. After the implant is in place, we will suture the incision, and complete the surgery.
Over the next several months, the implant and your bone will fuse together through the process of osseointegration. Osseointegration creates a strong foundation for the implant and allows the restoration to support even the strongest bite forces. Once osseointegration is complete, we will schedule your second surgery.
During your second surgery, we will expose the implant and place the abutment. In some cases, we may be able to place the abutment the same time as the implant screw. Once the abutment is in place, we will take an impression of the area and send it to our dental laboratory. Our laboratory technicians will use the impression to fabricate your final restoration. This process can take several weeks. In the meantime, we may give you a temporary crown to protect the surgical site. Once your restoration is ready, we will attach it to the abutment.
Dental implants have become the leading choice for tooth replacement, because of their many benefits. Implants offer superior aesthetics, function, and durability. For instance, implant-supported restorations allow you to eat your favorite foods without restriction. They can also be cleaned and maintained just like your natural teeth. With proper care, an implant-supported restoration can last a lifetime!
Schedule Your Consultation Today!
If you would like to learn more, call (509) 547-1631, and schedule your consultation today!