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All You Need to Know About Dental Implants

Posted by Cedar Walk Dentistry Team on Feb 16, 2022 2:15:00 PM

For those who have damaged or missing teeth, it may seem like there are very few ways to improve your smile. Gaps from missing teeth can be problematic for chewing, communicating, and aesthetics. Yet, dental implants offer a long-term solution in all of these areas.

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What Are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are a type of artificial tool. They look and function as normal teeth. They consist of three parts – the implant itself, titanium or another strong metal device placed into the area where the tooth root is, an abutment, which works as a connection component, and a dental crown, which is the part you'll see. 


When Are Dental Implants Used?

Dental implants can help to be replacements for one or more teeth. They can be used after removing a decaying tooth or a damaged tooth after an injury. They can also be used to add a partial or full mouth of dentures. In this case, the implants act as anchors for one or more artificial teeth. When in place, they restore the function of the teeth – helping with chewing, biting, communicating, and appearance. In short, dental implants improve oral health.


Dental Implant Procedures 

The dental implant procedure takes time. Because of the complexity of implants, it often takes several weeks of planning. Here's what happens.

  • Tooth removal: If you have damaged or decaying teeth, the first step is to remove those teeth from the mouth. This removal is done through an extraction. The tissue may need some time to heal before the next step.
  • Grafting when needed: The dental implant requires a strong bone in the jaw. If the jawbone isn't healthy or needs more support, the oral surgeon will graft bone from another area of the body and insert it into the jawbone. Over a few weeks, the new graft will grow into the existing bone, providing enough structural support for the dental implant. 
  • Implant placement: The dental surgeon creates a hole in the jawbone for the metal rod to be placed. The metal rod is drilled into place, deep into the bone. This needs to heal for some time to allow the bone to grow over the implant itself. When complete, this creates a very strong implant. 
  • Bone growth: Bone growth and healing take time. Several checkups during this time may be necessary to ensure the implant is in the proper place and healing is happening.
  • Abutment placement: Once that implant attaches well to the bone, an abutment is placed on top of the implant. This abutment is a small attachment that allows the crown to be affixed to it.
  • Artificial tooth placement: The final step is the placement of the artificial tooth, which is often a dental crown. Some are removable, while others are fixed into place. This tooth looks and works just like a natural tooth.

After the procedure, you could see some swelling of the gums and face. There may also be some gum repair that needs to be done. Your dentist will work with you closely to ensure the healing process goes well. Once in place and healed, you will have teeth that look and feel normal without many restrictions on what you can eat.


Special Care for Implants

Dental implant benefits are numerous, but you have to maintain your implants to keep seeing them. Most of the time, this includes the same steps you would take to keep your teeth healthy – routine dental checkups and proper brushing and flossing. It's important to use only a soft toothbrush and avoid hard and sticky foods that could break the tooth. Also, avoid any type of abrasive product on the exterior of the implant as that can cause damage as well. 


Advanced Technology Improves Results

Cedar Dental offers dental implant surgical guides to ensure the best possible results. This advanced technology helps oral surgeons place dental implants properly in the best location. This is done using imaging software that creates a map for where the implant will be placed. For this method to be used, the dentist will take impressions and images of the area to send to the software. It then creates the guide device, which looks just like a clear retainer. 


Are You Ready to Learn More?

Learn more about dental implants to improve your oral health, whether you need one or several teeth replaced. Contact us today to discuss dental implant costs and to schedule a consultation and exam.


Topics: Implants, Dentures, & Missing Teeth