A dental implant is an artificial tooth root that is placed into the patient’s bone to hold a replacement tooth or to stabilize a removable bridge or denture. This is a very simple procedure for the patient-–as simple as a filling. Many patients are concerned about discomfort; however, most implant patients will tell you that the procedure is a “piece of cake!”
The benefit of using implants is that they do not rely on neighboring teeth for support, and they are permanent, stable and do not come in or out of your mouth. Implants are a great solution for tooth loss because they look and feel like natural teeth.
Implant material is made from different types of metallic and bone-like ceramic materials that are compatible with body tissue. There are different types of dental implants: the first is placed directly into the jaw bone, like natural tooth roots; the second is used when the jaw structure is limited; therefore, a custom-made metal framework fits directly on the existing bone.
To place an implant, Dr. Dobson or Dr. Lanford performs a minor surgery to anchor the “artificial root” into the area where a tooth is missing. The procedure is done in the dental office with local anesthesia. The gum is then secured over the implant, which will remain covered with a “healing cap” until it fuses with the bone. The healing cap is small and does not interfere with chewing. After the implant has integrated with the patient’s bone, the doctors will uncover the implant by simple removal of the healing cap and attaches an extension (an “abutment”) to the implant. Finally, Dr. Dobson or Dr. Lanford will make a crown (an artificial tooth) which will be attached to the abutment.
Dental Implant Procedure
Step 1: Artificial Root
Step 2: Abutment
Step 3: Crown