Our family dentists at Guildford Heights Dental Centre in Surrey can use dental implants to restore the appearance and function of patients' smiles. Here's a little more about what dental implants are and the dental implant process.
Considering dental implants?
For many people dental implants can be an ideal way to replace missing teeth and restore function to their smile. If you're considering dental implants it's important to understand exactly what dental implants are, and how the implant process works.
Parts of The Dental Implant
We typically refer to all 3 parts of the dental implant collectively as 'a dental implant' however, the actual implant portion is a tiny titanium screw which your dentist will surgically place in your jaw in the spot where the root of the missing tooth once was.
This portion of the dental implant forms a 'root' or stable base to which an artificial tooth can be attached. Over time as the site heals, the implant will become integrated with your jaw bone and form a strong permanent base to your artificial tooth.
Healing after the implant surgery takes approximately 4-6 months. Once your mouth has completely healed the next step in the dental implant process can begin.
Having the abutment attached to the dental implant is the second part of the process. The dental implant abutment is a connector which secures the restoration to the dental implant. An abutment is typically made from titanium or a ceramic material.
Once your mouth has had sufficient time to heal after the abutment has been added, your restoration can be attached. A restoration can be a single artificial tooth, or multiple artificial teeth in the form of a bridge or a denture.
If you are replacing a single tooth a dental crown can be used. The dental crown will be screwed or cemented to the abutment to create an artificial tooth which will look and function almost exactly like a natural tooth. Dental crowns can be made from a mixture of metal and porcelain, or ceramic.
A dental bridge can be used to replace a number of missing teeth in a row. A bridge can be attached to just two implants which hold it securely in place. A dental bridge is typically made from porcelain.
Implant supported dentures can be used if you are replacing a full jaw of teeth. Implant supported dentures are typically made with either acrylic resin or porcelain teeth. Unlike conventional dentures, implant supported dentures are permanently secured to dental implants to create a secure and natural looking tooth replacement.