Dental implants have been used for over twenty years to replace an single tooth that was lost due to fracture or severe tooth decay.
The first step in the dental implant process involves a periodontist or oral surgeon examining your mouth and taking a few X-rays. This will help them to get a clear understanding of your available jaw structure and overall health of your mouth. If you have struggled with chronic gum disease or the tooth was deeply fractured or decayed, it might have caused a loss of bone structure in the area. In a situation like this, they might recommend you have a bone graft procedure before receiving the dental implant.
The implant procedure is often performed outpatient basis and usually requires deep sedation. This means you will need to arrange to have someone drive you and help you out for a little bit at home until you are back on your feet.
During the procedure the oral surgeon will make a small incision in your gums to gain direct access to your jawbone. They will then make a narrow channel into the bone and screw a titanium abutment into place. Titanium is known to be biologically safe and will eventually fuse to your bone in a process known as osseointegration which creates a very strong anchor.
Next, they will suture the gums closed and cover the titanium abutment with a strong plastic cap to protect it while it heals. Once it fuses to the bone, your dentist can fit the abutment with a permanent crown.
If you have questions about dental implants, please feel free to call us at 425-337-5549 to schedule an appointment.