Before Getting a Dental Implant
What to Do Before Getting a Dental Implant?
It is evident that many patients have heard of dental implants, but few understand the details of what it means to get a dental implant.
If you are currently missing one or many teeth, dentistry offers many options to help you fix your smile. The three big options that are available and commonly used are a removable prosthesis, a dental bridge with a fixed prosthesis and a dental implant.
Of course, there is always the option to do nothing, and many patients don’t always consider this option, and truthfully many dentists do not either. Any time you have a tooth removed, there’s always a chance that the surrounding teeth could shift or move over time, changing your bite and your appearance.
Dentists have no way of predicting if this movement or these changes will happen, and in some cases, we see no changes to the remaining teeth at all, and in other cases, we see large amounts of changes over time. If you’re someone who is only missing one tooth, you may not see any changes in your bite, your eating ability, or your smile.
If this is the case, you can always do nothing and maintain what you have. In some cases, you can even have a combination of the two in some individual treatment plans where you could have a complete denture replacing the top or maxillary teeth and a partial denture replacing a few teeth on the lower or mandibular arch.
Fixed Dental Prosthesis
Another standard option to replace one or more missing teeth is a dental bridge professionally called a fixed dental prosthesis.
As the name implies, it is fixed or continuously in the mouth, in stark contrast to the denture option, which is removable and should be removed daily.
For simplicity, thinks of two crowns over existing teeth on each side of the missing teeth space.
The teeth that serve as anchors for the bridge have to be cut or modified so a crown can be fitted over the remaining two structures attached to these crowns are fake or placement teeth that fill the missing two spaces.
Dental implants are essentially metal screws that are surgically placed in the bone under your gum tissue.
As we dive deeper, one thing to keep in mind is that treatment approaches and techniques can vary per provider located in the mouth and individual considerations for you and your present oral condition.
One of the most common approaches is a four-part process after a thorough examination and plan have been made. The first step is to place the implant surgically.
Once the implant is placed, it holds itself in the jaw, like putting a threaded screw in a wall or a board that would regulate itself.
A screw or healing cap is placed into the implant to prevent gum tissue or debris from getting inside the internal of the implant.
After Dental Implant Surgery
Immediately after the surgery, you will most likely have some stitches and may experience some swelling and discomfort after the implant is placed.
It must be given time to heal, and during this healing process, the bone around the implant remodels and attaches itself to the implant; a process we call osseointegration.
This healing process makes the implant’s connection to the surrounding bone much more robust over time.
This healing process can last anywhere from three to six months. After enough healing has occurred, the dentist will then go back in and uncover the implant.
This is the second step in the process. This requires minor surgery to regain access to the implant that has been covered and healed.
The dentist will then place a healing abutment or a post into the implant. The soft tissue around the implant then begins to heal around that post or abutment and shape the opening of the implant.
At a third visit, the dentist will begin fabricating the crown that will attach to the implant. This typically involves an impression of the area, and your case will be sent to a dental lab for fabrication.
Although, some dentists may do digital images or make the crown in their office. The finished height will then be seated at the last and final visit allowing you to leave with a brand-new tooth.
Now keep in mind that variations of the above-described process depend on your provider. There are also situations where an implant may be considered before losing your natural tooth.
You may have heard or read about immediate implants, where the dental implant is placed on the same day the existing tooth is removed.
Dental implants can also be used to anchor dentures and bridges.
The dental implant itself is placed surgically and essentially replaces the root of the tooth a crown can be anchored or attached to the dental implant, giving you a replacement tooth to fill the missing space. This means that the dental implant is the closest thing we could use to mimic a natural tooth.
Dental Implant Placement
One big thing we see is patients who do not have enough room for the implant. In these cases, the remaining teeth around the missing tooth have often shifted, so much of that space was initially present.
After the tooth was removed is now almost gone, or it doesn’t have enough space to accommodate an implant and future crown. If this is you, you may require braces before implant therapy or have no good options to get an implant.
Before Getting a Dental Implant
An implant may not be the best option because the dental implant is placed surgically into the jawbone. After natural teeth are lost or removed, you must have enough bone available on the surgical side to accommodate the implant.
The bone surrounding those teeth will resorb or shrink if you have been missing your teeth for a long time.
You may have lost a fair amount of bone from that area. Inadequate amounts of bone in the surgery site can make a dental implant more challenging, but it is not always a lost cause. With very little bone to place a dental implant, the dentist or surgeon would need to find ways to bone graft in that area to provide adequate amounts of bone for the implant.
In some patients, the amount of bone grafting necessary to facilitate implant placement is so much that the implant becomes a lesser option. Your dentists should evaluate the amount of remaining bone as part of your examination.
For best long-term results, you should have healthy gum tissue as well. If you are a patient who has had gum disease or periodontal disease in the past, this could compromise your dental implant.
Dental Implants in Etobicoke
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