Sometimes bad things happen and our teeth are damaged as a result. While this is just an unfortunate part of life, it can lead to oral health complications or be a detriment to our lifestyle. Implant dentistry, as the name suggests, seeks to repair some of that damage via various kinds of dental implants, which replace missing or damaged teeth.
Dental implants take on a variety of forms. Sometimes they replace a single tooth, while other implants may replace several adjacent teeth. The most common form of implant is installed in several steps, and the general procedure looks something like this:
- First, the damaged tooth is extracted, if necessary.
- Then the site is prepared. This may involve reshaping the gums or jawbone if needed.
- A dental implant is then installed in the site. This is most often a titanium screw that mounds into the jawbone and provides the root of the dental implant.
- The implant and the surrounding tissue and bone are allowed to heal.
- When the site is healed and ready, an artificial tooth is installed onto the implant. This tooth functions and looks as much like the patient’s natural tooth as possible.
Dental implants are generally a fairly involved procedure, taking a good deal of time and perhaps causing some discomfort for the patient. The benefit is that unlike many dental prostheses or other cosmetic treatments, a dental implant functions just like a natural tooth and is intended to last a lifetime.
While this is the most common kind of dental implant, there are several others. If an implant is right for you, your dentist will work with you to find the right solution for your needs.