One of the most effective ways you can replace a missing or damaged tooth is with a dental implant. However, the process is a bit of a mystery to those that have never had one before. Here is an overview of the whole process for receiving a dental implant.
The whole process will start with having an examination by your dentist. They'll not only examine your jawbone to see if it is healthy enough to support a dental implant, but your overall health as well. This is all necessary to be an ideal candidate to receive a dental implant, since having a health problem that would prevent the installation of an implant will stop the procedure from happening right away.
The Tooth Extraction
If you have a damaged tooth in your mouth that must be replaced, the next step will be to have your dentist remove that missing tooth. This is common when people suffer trauma to their face and have a fractured tooth that they cannot fix with other dental restoration methods.
The Jawbone Preparation
Your jawbone will need to be prepared for the dental implant, which can sometimes require a bone graft. This is necessary when the jawbone is not thick or dense enough to handle the titanium post that needs to be inserted into the jawbone. Some dental patients require sinus lift procedures, which is for when the mouth cavity has a sinus wall that is very thin. Nothing else can be performed at the time due to the jawbone needing to heal after any preparation step.
The Implant Installation
You'll now be ready to have the implant installed in your jawbone. The metal post will be inserted into the bone and given time to fully integrate with it before the final dental crown is placed on the post. It will take several months for this process to happen, so be prepared to give it time before you return to the dentist for the next step.
The Abutment Installation
The abutment will then be placed on the titanium post, which gives the implant the surface area to install the crown on top of it. Sometimes the abutment is installed with the titanium post, but other times the abutment will be placed at a later date. It really depends on the health of your jawbone.
The Crown Installation
If everything has healed and looks healthy, your dentist will place the dental crown on the abutment. This crown is designed to look like a real tooth and blend in seamlessly with all of the teeth that surround it. Contact a dentist, like those at Reston Family Dental Center, to learn more.