A dental implant is a great way for someone to replace a missing tooth, either from birth or due to an injury. There have been numerous advances made in the world of dental implants and many of them are published in the Journal of Implantology. Despite these advances, the basic process of installing implants remains the same. If you are interested in receiving a dental implant, you need to know how this procedure is carried out.
Revealing the Jawbone
The jaw needs to be healthy enough to support a dental implant. This will be discussed prior to the procedure. On the day of the operation, a trained dental surgeon will peel back the gum tissue. This will reveal the jaw. For patients who are concerned about discomfort during this step, local anesthetic is used to numb the injury site. If necessary, more powerful pain medications are available; however, most patients tolerate this procedure well.
Placing the Screw
Once the jawbone has been revealed, the next step is to place the screw in the jaw. This screw is made out of titanium, meaning that it can withstand the same stresses as normal teeth. The dentist will use a drill to place the screw in the proper location. During this step, patients might feel their head vibrating occasionally; however, this step is typically painless. The dental surgeon will make sure the screw is secure prior to the next step.
Closing the Jawbone
Once the screw is in place, the dentist will cover up the jawbone. This is typically done with a gum graft. The dental surgeon may decide to take gum tissue from the roof of the mouth. Gum tissue will be shifted from this location to the jawbone. This is done to encourage the jaw and gum tissue at the site of the implant to heal.
The Follow-Up Process
Usually, the dentist will want to give some time for the gum tissue and jaw to heal before installing the cap. There will be a few follow-up visits so that the surgeon can make sure there aren’t any complications developing such as an infection or rejection. If the dentist confirms that the jaw has accepted the implant, the last step is to screw the cap into place. The cap is what makes the implant look like a regular tooth. It is important for patients to select a cap that matches the shade of their regular teeth.