All About Dental Implants
Dental implants are no longer a new dental technique, but they are increasingly becoming more commonplace in treatment. This is due to long term studies supporting the science and success of treatment. A dental implant restores a missing tooth by rebuilding it from the bottom up. Unlike dental bridges, partial dentures or dentures, dental implants do not hover over the gum ridge but are fully stabilized much in the same way your natural tooth is, meaning you receive a tooth the feels natural.
Our team at Drs. Scheetz & Rekos: Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons of Ohio, can guide you through the process, this includes evaluating your dental needs, making recommendations and then creating a treatment plan that is specific to you. Dental implants are a great way to restore your bite and improve your smile.
What are dental implants?
A common misunderstanding is what the implant is; it is not a replacement tooth rather a replacement root. We are rebuilding the tooth by recreating the base. A dental implant is a metal rod, one end is threaded, and one end is shaped to allow an abutment or other prosthetic. It looks very similar to a screw in size and shape, and similarly to a screw, a dental implant comes in a variety of lengths and widths. The threaded end is sunk into bone, and with time, the bone will grow around the device making connections with the large amount of surface area that the threads provide.
Many patients will require preparatory work before their implant procedure. We may need to restore the health of your gums or bulk up your bone; this process can take months. The surgical insertion of a dental implant is a minimally invasive procedure that is done in our office, often with simple local anesthetic. We can provide you more specific information pertinent to you and the work you’re having done. The exception to this is the same day surgery of having dentures retained. Dentures can be permanently retained with implants that are longer, designed to reach denser bone in a one-day appointment.
Part of the implant procedure is creating a precise map for placement. We can do this with the use of 3D digital images. We can view the bone and map the surgical site for ideal placement. With the tissue prepared and healthy, we can then surgically place the implant. We begin with ensuring the patient’s comfort. Most patients find a local anesthetic sufficient, but we also have conscious sedation options, including nitrous oxide or laughing gas, available if needed. Once the patient is comfortable, we can begin.
We open the tissue, exposing the bone beneath. We then use a specialized drill to create the space needed in the bone. This step is done using the precise treatment map we created before surgery. That included the positioning and depth. With the space created, we then insert the implant. Once placed, we then close the space with sutures. The patient is sent home for a period of healing. The soft tissue will heal within a few days, but the bone healing will take considerably longer about three months. Once the implant has bonded with the bone, we can then place the prosthetic over the device; this may be a dental crown, one side of a dental bridge, or an anchor for a dental implant.
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