Dental implants can be an excellent option to replace one or more missing teeth. If you are exploring this option, we look forward to answering all of your questions during a consultation with one of our dentists!
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!
Frequently Asked Questions About Dental Implants
What is a dental implant?
In summary, a dental implant is an integrated, complete replacement for a missing tooth. The entire "implant" is composed of three distinct parts:
- The Implant Body - A titanium screw integrated into the bone below the gum line
- The Implant Abutment - A "middle man" that allows the implant crown to attach to the implant body
- The Implant Crown- The portion that looks like a natural tooth, which is attached on top of the abutment.
How are dental implants different than dentures?
Dentures are a removable prosthesis that require adhesive products for suction and nightly removal for cleaning as part of their routine care. Dental implants are a permanently placed replacement for a missing tooth that require little to no special care, aside from what you would do for your natural teeth.
What are the benefits of dental implants?
Many patients prefer dental implants due to the fact that they look and feel just like their natural teeth. They are a permanent no fuss option that can last a lifetime when done correctly.
Who can place a dental implant?
Depending on a dentist's training, he or she may or may not be able to do an implant procedure in their office. At Norbo Dental, all of our dentists are trained and skilled in the art of placing dental implants. In the event we ourselves are not able to provide you with this procedure option, we have an excellent pool of colleagues in the area who can further assist you!
How much do implants cost?
The cost of getting an implant depends on several different factors including how many implants you are having placed, whether the area has the tooth or if it is already missing, how long the area has been without a tooth, and so on. Insurance also plays a factor, as some insurances cover towards implant procedures and others do not. The only way to find out exactly how much an implant will cost is to schedule a consultation so we can assess your needs and give you an individualized estimate.
Do dental implants hurt?
Local anesthetic is used when placing the implant, making the procedure itself painless. Most patients report little to no discomfort after the implant itself is placed.
How long do implants last?
Assuming the dental implant is placed correctly and the patient maintains proper care of the area, an implant can last a lifetime! Maintaining optimal health of the implant and the surrounding area is something that can be discussed and reviewed with your dental hygienist during your routine hygiene appointments.
If you need a dental implant, chances are you need a CT scan before having the implant placed. This is to verify the area has sufficient bone, and to make sure the dentist avoids important structures such as nerves and sinuses. Click here to learn about our Prexion CT Scanner technology!