When looking at any sort of medical or dental procedure, it’s always important to understand the procedure as a whole. At PGA Dentistry, we pride ourselves on making the process as transparent as possible, from consultation to billing. Read along as we detail the typical steps and timeline that our Palm Beach Gardens, FL patients experience with dental implants.
Not surprising, the first step should always be to consult Dr. Ajmo before committing to a procedure. Dental implants are a superb substitute for lost teeth, but it’s true that they may not be best for everyone. By consulting with Dr. Ajmo, we can definitively determine if dental implants are right for you and what the finished product may look like. If you’re missing 1 or more teeth or are at risk of losing teeth, let Dr. Ajmo examine your oral health and determine your candidacy. He can also assess if you’ll be needing any supplemental procedures before surgery, such as a bone graft or gum graft.
After you have been approved for dental implants, and any supplemental procedures have been performed, the next step is to dive into the dental implants procedures! Since dental implants are composed of 3 parts, they are essentially 3 different procedures.
This first piece is typically shaped like a screw and is made of titanium. It’s drilled into the jaw below the gumline, where it will rest and bond with the bone in a process known as osseointegration. This initial implant will also serve as the anchor for the abutment and prosthetic tooth to come. It also varies in size, depending on the tooth that is being replaced – for example, a dental implant for a wider tooth will be shaped differently than one for a front tooth.
The abutment is the cap that tops the titanium screw embedded in the jaw. The purpose of this is to rise above the gumline and keep the prosthetic tooth secure. The part of the abutment that protrudes above the gumline is shaped to hold the prosthetic tooth in place and then the gum is allowed to heal around it.
This final piece is the customizable feature of the dental implant. Usually constructed from porcelain, the prosthetic tooth can be crafted to match the coloring, shape, and contouring of your neighboring teeth, so that it blends in with your smile as though it truly belonged.
Osseointegration and Dental Implants
One reason that dental implants have succeeded so well is the process of osseointegration. This fusion process entails the implant bonding to the jawbone after being embedded. While the bone will recognize the implant as a foreign object, it does not reject it and instead wraps around it, accepting it as a viable replacement tooth.
This encourages the bone to regenerate, effectively healing the area and strengthening the bone to a considerable degree. This will prevent the bone from collapsing, which can be typical after the loss of a tooth. It can also assist in healing the area from tooth decay, if that was the disease the tooth was afflicted by.