What is a Dental Implant?

Most of us will have heard of dental implants before. But what might not be so common is an understanding of exactly what a dental implant is – not without at least undergoing the procedure to have one implanted themselves.

In this article, we would like to help you understand what a dental implant is, and why you might have been recommended this procedure. Read on to gain insight and learn more about this restorative procedure.

What is the implant itself?

A dental implant is effectively an artificial tooth that is implanted in the jaw of the patient. Typically, this implant consists of three parts:

  • The first is the root, which is the anchor for the implant that is drilled down into the jaw of the patient. This root is typically made of titanium but can be made using different materials in the case that the patient has a suspected allergy to titanium.
  • The second part is the abutment. This part of the implant serves as the connection between the titanium root and the porcelain upper.
  • The third part is the upper porcelain crown – the section that makes the implant look like a natural tooth.

The process

The root of the implant is drilled down into the jaw of the patient, where it will eventually bind with the jawbone in a process known as osseointegration. This particular aspect of the process is very important to the longevity of the implant.

It might be easier to understand that the implant is an artificial fang, usually made of titanium and shaped like a screw. The implant is placed in the jawbone at the site of the lost tooth or teeth. Titanium compounds in the implants integrate with the jawbone to form a unified system. This process is called bone integration. 

The implant is included in three parts: 

  1. The root of implant: replacement for real teeth.
  2. Abutment: connection of root of the implant below and the dentures above.
  3. Dentures: the restoration of the abutment, shaped, and functioning like natural teeth.

The bone volume of the implant and the ability to integrate with the jawbone to form a unified system is the most critical surgery factor.

Most of the patients who have lost teeth may consider implants. When this is the case, the doctor may need to increase bone in these areas and perform procedures such as bone grafting, or sinus lifting.

Should you consider receiving a dental implant?

The implant overcomes popular problems of removable jaws such as slipping, seeps, or difficulty with digestion. You may need to receive a dental implant if:

  • You have dentures that are bridges or removable jaws, but their shapes do not fit together, causing periodontal disease, loss of aesthetics, and difficulty in chewing food.
  • You need an optimal solution to replace your lost teeth. However, you do not want it to impact surrounding teeth or bridges, or cause an inconvenience to removable jaws.

It is worth noting that implants are the only dental restoration option that maintains your natural jawbone, even if you have experienced bone loss.

Implant Techniques

Depending on the “quality” of your jawbone, the dentist will recommend several different implant techniques:

Bone deficiency:

Case 1: Implant and bone transplant are performed in the one appointment. If you have enough bones to support your implant, we can make temporary restoration immediately.

Case 2: Bone grafting, which you will have to wait 4-6 months to ensure it has properly healed before we conduct the implant surgery.

Surgical Implant Procedure

Because the implant will include one or more surgical procedures, you must be carefully evaluated to prepare for this process. This includes:

  • Comprehensive dental examination. A CT scan is required for the examination.
  • Treatment plan. Under your condition, this plan will include the number of teeth you need to replace and your jawbone condition.

Implant surgery is usually performed in stages:

  • Tooth extraction is examined
  • If your jaw has sufficient bone volume, your doctor will perform implant surgery.
  • If there is insufficient bone, the doctor will perform procedures to increase bone volume. After your jawbone grows and stabilises, your doctor will insert the implants.
  • It can take several months for the implant to be integrated with the jawbone.
  • After the implant is stable, the final restoration will be performed.

The entire process from examination to completion of the last tooth can take 3-9 months. Most of this time is waiting for bone grafting’s wounding and stability (if there is a bone graft) and of the implant to heal after implantation.

Contact LN Dental Clinic for more information

Experiencing any dental trouble? Please get in touch with us at LN Dental. Our professional dentists have years of experience in helping our patients restore their smiles. For more information about any of our procedures, please contact us at (02) 9644 1499 or book an appointment today.

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