Dental implants are a permanent way to replace missing teeth. In this blog, our West Kelowna dentists talk about the main components of a dental implant to help you better understand this procedure and tooth replacement option.
Dental implants are surgically placed into the jawbone to help replace a missing tooth and protect your oral health. When implants are combined with a crown or other tooth replacement option, they can offer a natural feel and appearance.
This replacement method can be used to help treat various oral health concerns, keep the surrounding teeth from shifting, help resolve bite issues and jaw joint pain, as well as help preserve the aesthetic appearance and tissue in a patient's facial area.
The implant itself (also called the fixture) is usually crafted from titanium and is surgically placed beneath the gums.
Shaped like a screw, this permanent implant will be placed in the jawbone after an oral surgeon or dentist drills a small hole to replace the roots of the missing tooth. As the tissue heals, the fixture bonds to the jawbone in a process known as osseointegration, which allows the implant to sit in your mouth permanently.
Titanium is usually used since it's known to be well-accepted by the human body. Using proper materials increases the chance that osseointegration and other parts of the process will go smoothly, and reduces the risk of corrosion and other complications.
An extender is attached to the false tooth because the actual implant is located entirely beneath the gumline. Called the abutment, this short screw extends at or directly over the gum line to support the tooth replacement.
The abutment can be made from a tooth-coloured material or metal and is typically attached once osseointegration has occurred. Although, in some cases, a dentist will place a fixture, abutment, and temporary restoration at the same time.
3. Tooth Replacement
Three to six months after your surgery, you'll need to see your dentist again so they can attach the tooth replacement (usually a crown, bridge, or denture). The replacement (or prosthesis) will look and function similar to your natural teeth and can be made from porcelain, ceramic or other materials.
Your tooth replacement and the dental implant as a whole will work like a natural tooth and roots, which means you can chew and speak as you would normally - without the need to remove or replace false teeth.
Replacing Missing Teeth Helps Preserve Your Oral Health
It doesn't matter which tooth replacement option you and your dentist decide is most suitable for you, it's essential to have your missing teeth replaced as quickly as possible to prevent deterioration in the jaw and gum tissues. If deterioration occurs, this can cause further complications for your oral and overall health and teeth surrounding the gap can shift out of position, which may lead to bite issues and uneven teeth.
At Carrington Dental, our team is available to help diagnose any oral health problems you may have and determine the right treatment plan for you. If you are missing teeth or are experiencing other issues with your oral health, schedule a dental examination and cleaning today.