Dental implants are artificial tooth roots used by cosmetic dentists to provide foundations for permanent or removable replacement teeth. Inserting dental implants is one of the more complicated procedures in periodontology, a specialized class of dentistry. Dentists only recommend dental implants in extreme cases wherein a tooth is too bad to treat or a danger to the rest of the mouth.
Dental labs strive to make the often-confusing procedure of dental implants something more understandable and easier to embrace as an option for their dental needs. In an effort to take a step in that direction, this is the outline for the procedure of dental implants.
The First Stage
The procedure for dental implants involves three stages, requiring three different surgeries. The first stage is the removal of the tooth root. If you’re imagining something like the time you lost your baby teeth, you’re sorely mistaken. The tooth root is the part of your tooth attached to the skull underneath your gums. The periodontologist will be removing something so ingrained in you that it normally remains intact long after you’re dead.
After successfully removing the root, the implant flush will then be buried into the bone underneath the gum. The flush will serve as the base of the implant, and will keep the three-piece artificial tooth stable. After implantation of the flush, the mouth will be given time to heal to let the bone integrate the flush into itself.
The Second Stage
After full integration of the flush into the bone, the patient comes back for the second stage. The periodontologist removes the gum covering the flush, and attaches a post called an abutment. This piece will serve as the collar, or holding piece, for the artificial tooth. An abutment can be stock manufactured or custom molded by your dentist in a laboratory. After the attachment of the abutment, the gum will be allowed to heal around it. While it’s healing, it’s important to keep it from being impacted by other teeth while chewing, to prevent it from being knocked out of place or damaging the flush underneath.
The Third Stage
The third and final stage is the attachment of the artificial tooth itself. This is done after the periodontologist makes sure that the flush and post have successfully integrated and the surrounding bone and tissue are completely healed. No anesthetics are necessary for the third stage; it’s as simple as putting a cap on a bottle.
Implant dentistry has come a long way since the days of tying a string to the door, with the constant march of dental technology it won’t be long until everybody will have a reason to smile.