What You Need to Know About Tooth Implants?
A single tooth implant is an option for individuals who are missing one (or more) teeth. A tooth implant is placed in an opening in the jawbone through surgical means. Once the implant has been attached (integrated) to the bone, it serves as the “root” for the crown. The crown is used to replace the missing tooth.
The crown (also commonly referred to as a “cap”) looks almost identical to the natural tooth. It is attached to the implant. The crown also fills the space left by the tooth that’s missing. However, it is crucial for the patient to still have enough bone in the jaw for the tooth implant procedure to work.
Not only that, it is also vital that the remaining bone is strong enough not just to hold the implant in place but also to support it. In instances where there is not enough bone left, a procedure called bone augmentation or bone grafting might be recommended. In addition, it is ideal that the natural teeth as well as the supporting tissues near the implant are in good condition.
An implant-restored tooth consist of the following parts:
Implant. The implant is often made of titanium and is placed in the lower or upper jawbone.
Abutment. The abutment can be made of titanium, porcelain, or gold. It is attached to the implant using a screw. The abutment is also used to connect the implant to the crown.
Restoration. The crown is the part that looks similar to the natural tooth. The crown is often made of porcelain fused to a metal alloy. The restoration can also be made of metal or porcelain. In instances where the crown is screwed to the abutment, the screw hole is covered with a restorative material.
The Implant Process
The completion of the crown and implant will be dependent on several factors. For example, if the traditional method of placing implants is used, the entire procedure can take around 6 months for the upper jaw and around 5 months for the lower.
The approximate timeframe mentioned above will often include surgeries as well as placement of the permanent crown. In other instances, the implant process can take up to a year or more. This is especially true in cases where the bone has to be built up first.
The traditional procedure will require two procedures, with at least 6 months in between. The first procedure will involve making a small incision in the gum where the implant is placed. After the hole has been drilled and the implant placed, the incision is stitched closed.
After the healing period, the second procedure is performed. This second procedure involves creating an incision to expose the implant. A collar (also known as a healing cap) is screwed onto the top of the implant. It will help the surrounding gum tissues to heal. After several weeks, the healing cap will be removed.
After the healing cap is removed, the abutment is screwed into the implant. The abutment will be used to support the crown. Nowadays, a one-stage procedure is already possible. This means that the implant, abutment, and bridge (or temporary crown) can be placed in a single session.