Losing an adult tooth is never a fun experience. It can be incredibly painful and leave a rather awkward-looking gap in your smile.
But that’s life- most adults will lose a tooth or two in their lifetime due to an accident poor oral hygiene, illness or simply, old age.
Cosmetic dental implants are the ultimate solution to losing a tooth, or number of teeth for that matter. After all, prosthetic dental implants are robust, long-lasting and extremely natural-looking.
So, if you’re looking to rebuild your smile with dental implants, here’s what you should know about the procedure…
Understanding Cosmetic Dental Implants
Unfortunately, you can never replace your natural teeth. But the good news is that cosmetic dental implants are the next best thing.
However, this process is a complex one. It’s a procedure that requires consideration, time, and patience. First thing’s first, let’s get into the breakdown and structure of a dental implant:
1. The Implant
A common misconception is that a dental implant encompasses the entire tooth. It doesn’t. The implant itself is the surgical component inserted into your jawbone as the first step in the procedure. It’s known as the artificial tooth “root”.
This component is not visible and generally made of either zirconia or titanium alloy.
2. The Abutment
This is the connector component which sits on top of the dental implant and acts as a bridge between the implant and tooth crown.
The dental abutment is also made from either zirconia or titanium alloy.
3. The Dental Crown
This is the replacement tooth that is visible from within the mouth. These crowns are usually made from dental resin or porcelain and are incredibly natural-looking. Your dentist crafts your crown to match the color and natural shape of the rest of your teeth.
A Breakdown of the Procedure
As mentioned, the process is one the generally requires patience and a fair amount of time. Dental implants do not happen overnight, except for in some instances when only one tooth is being replaced.
The time period actually depends on your dentist and their preferred technique in fitting dental implants. For example, some dentists may choose to fit a new implant immediately. In other cases, the entire process can take up to 6-9 months.
Your dental implant procedure is unique to your own circumstances and how many teeth you’re having replaced too. The entire process is broken down into four key phases.
1. The Consultation
During this first step of the process, your dentist will take a record of your oral health, overall health, and medical history. You will then undergo a few x-rays of the mouth and even a CT scan if necessary.
Your dentist will then explain the procedure to you and outline a general time-frame.
2. Implant Placement
During this step, a local anesthetic numbs the area while a dental implant(s) is inserted into your jaw bone, however, you will be awake. Once in place, a cap is placed over the area or it can be stitched closed with dissolvable stitches.
After this, your dentist will advise on how long your gum needs to heal and adhere to the dental implants. This process is known as osseointegration. There is normally a 3-6 month waiting period.
3. Abutment Placement
During this 3-6 month period, you’ll need to visit your dentist for check-ups to see how you’re healing. If they are satisfied with your progress, the dental abutments will then be fitted.
During this step, the gum is cut to reveal the previously placed dental implants. From here, each corresponding abutment is fitted into the implants. From here, a few weeks of healing is required. But in the meantime, you’ll be fitted with a temporary crown until your next appointment.
4. Fitting the Crown
Once your abutments have healed up, it’s time for the final step- crown placement. Your crown(s) are crafted beforehand using specialized 3D technology to develop the perfect set of new teeth to match the rest of your smile.
Depending on your dentist’s approach, there may be a few adjustments made before your teeth are fully restored to their full beauty!
Looking For Professional Dental Work?
Interested in cosmetic dental implants? Shallowford Family Dental Group is your go-to for all your dental needs!
Learn more about our cosmetic dentistry services and book your appointment with us today!