How Do Dental Implants Work?
We get it – replacing a loose or missing tooth is a big deal, so you want to know everything you can about your options before committing.
Dental implants aren’t as simple as, say, crowns, but once you understand them, you can make an informed decision.
We’ll teach you everything you need to know about implants, how they work, what the procedure entails, and how they compare to other treatments.
So without further delay, let’s get started with the big question.
What is a dental implant?
A dental implant is a three-part structure that completely replaces a cracked, damaged, or missing tooth.
An implant is screwed into the jawbone, which acts like the root, to anchor the artificial tooth, called a crown.
An abutment fits into the implant and holds the crown.
The crown is a custom-made tooth to fit precisely and match the color of your natural teeth.
Crowns are designed to look, feel, and function like natural teeth.
What is the structure of a dental implant?
There are three components to a dental implant: 1.) The screw, 2.) the abutment, and 3.) the crown. We often refer to the screw part of the implant as the post.
The post screws directly into your jawbone, creating a secure anchor.
From there, an abutment is affixed to the screw, which acts as a connecting piece between crown and post – that way, if your crown ever needs to be replaced, we can reuse your post without removing it.
The crown is then secured directly to the abutment, typically via a permanent adhesive.
What are the advantages of dental implants?
Implants have several advantages over other dental treatments, such as dentures, as they:
- Are nearly indistinguishable from natural teeth
- Have a high success rate
- Improve your chewing function.
- Lead to a lower risk of cavities developing in nearby teeth.
- Help to preserve bone structure around the missing tooth
One of the more significant benefits of dental implants, when compared to dentures, is that they don’t need to be taken out and cleaned every night.
Dental implants vs. traditional crowns
A traditional crown is like a hat that sits on top and bonds to your original tooth.
Dental implants also use crowns – however, they’re affixed to an abutment rather than your original tooth.
We remove the original tooth, including the root, and the implant is used as a total replacement.
Implants are generally preferable in cases of severe decay, damage, or tooth loss. It’s also easier to replace an implant-installed crown than a traditional crown if it ever gets damaged.
How does getting a dental implant work?
We will evaluate your oral health with a comprehensive examination. Implants aren’t always necessary, so we do our best to examine alternatives, educate you on your options, and develop a comprehensive care plan you’ll feel confident in.
If the situation calls for it, we will remove any remaining damaged tooth structures before starting. The entire tooth (root included) must be gone before we can start the implant process.
At this point, we’ll evaluate your jaw bone structure and mend it if need be in preparation for the final implant.
Fitting and healing
After evaluating your existing bone structure and removing existing tooth matter, we can drill and screw the post in place.
At this point, we’ll need to wait for the screw to fully integrate with your jawbone before going any further.
This means you’ll have an empty gap where you’d normally see a tooth – however, we can affix a temporary crown to maintain appearances during this time.
Bone integration can take several months, after which you’ll have a solid foundation for the rest of your implant.
When your implant is stable enough, we’ll connect the abutment. This is the part that will connect directly to your crown.
Depending on your needs, it’s possible to place the abutment during the initial implant fitting – however, many people opt not to go this route, as it will leave a visible metal abutment during the healing process.
Adding the crown
After your gums have healed, we can fit your permanent crown, which will have been color matched during your initial examination.
If you’re looking for the perfect place to get your dental implant, look no further than Palms Dentistry in Simpsonville, SC, or Greenville, SC. Give us a call today.
- Simpsonville Office:
Phone: 864-962-3508 | Email: Simpsonville@PalmsDentistry.com
- Greenville Office:
Phone: 864-210-9075 | Email: Greenville@PalmsDentistry.com
Your team at Palms Dentistry is proud to provide a better dental experience in Simpsonville, SC, Greenville, SC, and surrounding areas, including; Mauldin, Fountain Inn, Laurens, Clinton, and Gray Court.