Tooth implant procedure.
A dental implant is a surgical operation that allows the dentist to replace one or more missing teeth. As surgical operation, it requires long and predetermined times, even if in some cases it is possible to apply a faster procedure.
With dental implants, you can also replace the entire dental arch, and avoid dentures.
Traditionally, a dental implant procedure requires some months to be completed, at least 6-9 months depending on different factors; usually, procedures applied to the lower jaw are faster than those on the upper jaw. There is a new kind of implants that allow the dentist to insert the root, the abutment and the prosthesis in one appointment, but generally, the procedure needs more appointments.
The initial consultation is usually the most critical stage, in which the dentist check the teeth and the gums, take exams like X-rays or CT (computed tomography) scans, and plan the operation. At this time, the dentist will evaluate whether the soft tissues are healthy and if there is enough bone to support the implant. Otherwise, you will need a bone grafting procedure, which will lengthen the time of the treatment.
A dental implant, in fact, can only be applied to patients who have healthy gums and strong bones; it is not recommended in other cases or patients with bruxism.
In the first part of the procedure a hole is made in the jaw, and the implant, that looks like a root and is made of titanium or titanium alloys, in inserted in it; titanium is a particular material that is bio-compatible and fuses with the bone (osseointegration process). After the root is inserted, the hole is closed with stitches.
Implant dentures. Second phase.
After a period from 3 to 6 months, in which the osseointegration has completed, the dentist reopens the hole and applies a collar, or a healing cap, that is screwed on the top of the implant. It helps the surrounding gum tissue to heal. After a few weeks, the healing cap is removed, and the abutment is screwed into the implant and used to support the prosthesis, such as a crown, a bridge or a denture.
The prosthesis can be removable, fixed or a combination of both.
During all stages of the treatment, a provisional prosthesis may be applied to the patient for aesthetic purposes.
Dental implant procedure. The results.
Dental implant success is very high, about 95-98%, and the implant works much like a natural tooth.
However as in any surgical procedure, there may be complications, especially in the case of infection, and the treatment may fail. The experience and expertise of the dentist or surgeon are the main factors of the success of a dental implant procedure.