A dental implant is a biocompatible titanium post (serving as a tooth root) that is surgically positioned into the jawbone beneath the gum line allowing your Dentist to attach replacement teeth or a bridge into that area. Dental implants are an exceptional way to replace missing teeth, providing a fixed solution, rather than a removable prosthesis. This modality allows the patient to only address the space of the missing tooth without the need to impact or compromise the health of adjacent teeth as is necessary with a dental bridge.
A distinction in verbatim must be understood when electing to have an implant restoration. An implant is merely the titanium fixture surgically placed in the upper or lower jaw serving as the previous tooth root. A separate connection, called an abutment, is later placed into the implant fixture, which supports an eventual dental crown. The final placement of the crown restores and enhances a patient's smile. Three definitively separate components are needed to complete an implant restoration, although there can be slight case specific variations.
Dental implants are very strong, stable and durable and with the proper maintenance and care, provide excellent support for a dental crown for a long period of time. The process of an implant restoration requires a number of visits over the course of several months. Radiographs, impressions and a great deal of planning and preparation go into a successful implant restoration, even before the surgical procedure. Once the root form implant fixture is surgically placed, anywhere from 3-6 months may be needed for the implant to fully and adequately integrate into bone before the restoration phase can begin. Several key factors play into the determination of the appropriate healing time for each individual case.
Implant placement can either be done in 1 stage or 2 stages which will be determined by your Dentist during the planning phase. Single stage means once healing is complete, the restoration phase can immediately begin as a healing component already protruded through the gum tissue for access to the internal aspect of the implant fixture. Two stage implant placement means that the implant healing phase took place entirely under the gum and the platform of the implant must be exposed with a minor surgical uncovering procedure. At this time a healing component will be inserted which will protrude through the gums, again allowing for access to the internal aspect of the implant fixture. In a 2-stage approach, the restoration phase can generally begin 2-4 weeks after uncovery.
The restoration phase is initiated with an impression to identify implant and tissue position, and this is given to a dental laboratory to fabricate the final components. The lab will fabricate a custom abutment, which is the connection that goes into the implant and protrudes through the gum tissue resembling a tooth prepared for a crown. This abutment is securely attached to the implant fixture offering excellent stability for the eventual crown. The laboratory will also fabricate a dental crown to be cemented onto the abutment completing the implant restoration and enhancing your beautiful smile.
You will receive care instructions at the conclusion of your treatment. Good oral hygiene practices, a proper diet and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new Dental Implant Restoration.
If you have any questions or concerns about Implant Dentistry, please don't hesitate to discuss them with your Dentist in the office or call Dental Arts of Boynton Beach at (561) 767-9595.