In the past, the only option that patients had for replacing missing teeth was wearing dental bridges or dentures. Today, dental implants are an innovative option for restoring the appearance of a smile. For the residents of Holly, Mich., visiting Holly Dental Care to learn about dental implantations from a team of knowledgeable dentists is a good plan. An implant can replace one or more missing teeth with a natural looking prosthesis that attaches permanently to a patient’s jawbone. This process involves osseointegration that helps metal to attach firmly to bone.
Patients considering an implantation must have an examination that includes medical images of the face. A patient with strong bones in the jaw and face without having dental health issues such as gingivitis is a good candidate for this procedure. Patients with medical conditions such as diabetes often develop infections and require careful monitoring. Dentists advise patients to quit smoking to prevent damaging the materials containing in the implants. If a patient needs repairs for their existing teeth or gum tissue, then these repairs are completed before implantation begins.
The artificial crowns of implants are placed on screws inserted into a patient’s jawbone and gum tissue. When a patient does not have enough bone or the tissue is weak, it is possible to improve the structures with bisphosphonate medications. It may require several months for a patient’s bones to become strong enough for a dental implantation. A patient’s facial structure needs to become sturdy enough to withstand the constant force from chewing food while wearing implants. A dentist will need to make incisions in the patient’s gum tissue and drill into the bone to insert small titanium screws.
Patients require general and local anesthesia to avoid discomfort. Most dentists recommend sedation during implantation because several or a full mouth of metal posts are inserted. Specialized devices are placed in the mouth to collect saliva, blood and bone fragments. A dental hygienist sprays saline inside the mouth throughout the process to keep debris away from the incision sites and prevent infection. Some patients have a dental crowns applied immediately to the posts while others must wait for the surgical site to heal. Dental crowns are customized to look natural with other teeth in the mouth.
It can take three to six months for the titanium posts to integrate with the patient’s bone tissue. To help the posts integrate, a dentist may need to perform gum surgery to ensure the tissue surrounds a post. This helps to strengthen the area but also makes the dental crown look better. For patients with little bone tissue, a bone grafting process is available. This procedure uses the patient’s own bone from other parts of their face or body, leading to no allergic reactions or rejections. After implantation, patients must learn how to take care of the titanium posts and dental crowns properly to avoid damage or infection.