A dental implant is a titanium screw that in placed into the jawbone to support one or more false teeth. Unlike dentures, implants do not come loose and therefore are a popular alternative to replace lost teeth either as a result of trauma or disease. Dental implants benefit general oral health and replace missing teeth improving your bite and confidence.
There are two main surgrical stages to the conventional dental implant surgery. Firstly, the implant post is placed into the jawbone and this is carried out using local anaesthetic to minimise discomfort. This procedural stage involves an incision being made into the gum tissue and then a hole is precisely made for insertion of the titanium screw. The incision is then stitched back up, allowing 3-6 months to heal but most importantly to promote osseointergration. Osseointergration is the natural process by which the implant forms a strong connection with the bone preventing it from moving and giving it the ability to support restoration.
The second stage will take place roughly 3-6 months after the first stage. In this stage, the implant is exposed and evaluated to determine whether osseointergration has been successful. Once evaluated, the dentist will place a healing cap to shape the gum tissue which will in turn help support the tooth crown or the bridge. The healing cap will approximately be worn for 10-14 days.
The final phase is insertion. This will involve the dentist threading a metal sleeve, known as abutment, into the implant. Your artificial teeth will then be attached to the implant via the abutment. The dentist will then explain the aftercare that is required, flossing and brushing; and will schedule a follow up appointment to ensure you are comfortable with your newly implanted crowns.