Dental implants are in summary a permanent replacement to a single or multiple missing teeth, that look and feel just like your natural teeth. Dentists will often recommend a single implant instead of a bridge due to the fact that no additional teeth need to be altered or restored during an implant procedure. On the contrary, during a bridge the adjacent teeth all must be restored.
The process to a dental implant takes place over the course of a few months. The first step is to install the titanium implant itself in the place where the tooth used to exist or was extracted from. The implant is placed by making a small incision in the gum, inserting the implant, and then torquing it into place. After the implant is secured in the jaw bone, the gum around the implant is sutured so that the implant is either buried under the gum line or a small healing cap is placed so the gum grows around the cap leaving a bit of the implant accessible. After this, the implant is allowed to incorporate into the area for 3 to 6 months during which time the bone will form around the implant during a process called osseointegration. While there is some waiting before getting the permanent restoration on top, your dentist can have temporary crowns made and placed so that you can eat and speak normally while this integration occurs.
Once the implant has become fully incorporated into the surrounding bone, it is time to place an abutment on the implant so that final impressions can be taken. An abutment is a small piece that serves as the base of your new crown that is also used to take an impression of the surrounding area so that a permanent crown of perfect dimension can be made for the implant. Once the crown is ready, it is placed on top of the abutment, and the process is complete!
At Norbo dental, we make the process even easier for our patients by having the ability to mill our own crowns right here in the office. Instead of having to wait two or three weeks for the implant crown to be made in a dental lab, we can do so in just a few hours and get you back smiling faster than ever!