What It Is
At its core, a dental implant is an artificial tooth root made from biocompatible materials such as titanium. This implant is surgically placed into the jawbone beneath the gum line, effectively replacing the missing tooth root. Once integrated into the jawbone through a process called osseointegration, the dental implant provides a strong foundation for a replacement tooth – usually a crown – to be attached.
The process of getting a dental implant typically involves several stages:
Initial Assessment: During the initial consultation, we will evaluate your oral health, take X-rays, and discuss the feasibility of the procedure. Factors like bone density, overall health, and oral hygiene are taken into consideration.
Implant Placement: In this step, the dental implant is surgically positioned into the jawbone. This procedure is performed under local anesthesia, (and with IV sedation, if you chose) and the implant is left to heal and fuse with the bone over a period of a few months.
Abutment Placement: Once osseointegration is complete, an abutment (a connector) is attached to the implant. The abutment acts as a support link between the implant and the replacement tooth.
Crown/Bridge Attachment: The final step involves placing a custom-made crown onto the abutment (or a bridge onto multiple implants/abutments, in cases of multiple or all missing teeth). The crown (or bridge) is designed to match the surrounding teeth in terms of shape, size, and color, ensuring a natural and seamless appearance.
In situations where an individual has lost all of their teeth and, due to various factors, can only receive a limited number of implants in a specific dental arch—a number insufficient for supporting a permanent bridge, either due to limited implant placement options, financial constraints, or health considerations—opting for removable snap-in dentures emerges as a superior alternative to traditional dentures.