A dental implant is an artificial tooth root, and it functions exactly like the root of a natural tooth. For starters this small, biocompatible rod embeds in the jawbone, providing support for a dental restoration or prosthetic. Implants are versatile in their uses, and they make it possible for dentists to correct a range of…
Replace a Missing Tooth with a Single Dental Implant
A dental implant might be exactly what you need if you have a missing tooth. These restorations are often recommended by dentists since they are the only oral prosthetics that prevent bone tissues in the jaw from disintegrating when a tooth falls out.
Bone tissues work similarly to the way muscle tissues work; they atrophy when they are not getting the stimulation they need to be healthy. When a tooth falls out, so goes its root, meaning the area in the jaw it was anchored on no longer gets stimulated. Bone tissue loss in the jaw can lead to a sunken look or wrinkles forming around the mouth.
How a dental implant can replace your lost tooth
Replacing a lost tooth with an implant allows you to get back to how things were before you lost it. Implants do not require any special care, just brushing and flossing to keep them in good condition.
Getting implants begins with a consultation with the dentist. Patients need to be healthy enough to undergo oral surgery. Some health conditions like immune system disorders can hinder a person’s ability to recover. Medications like blood thinners can also negatively impact the recovery process since it makes it harder for blood to clot. The dentist will go over the patient’s health history and any medication they are currently taking to determine if a dental implant is the right solution for them.
The thickness of the patient’s jawbone tissues will also be evaluated during the treatment. Implants are lodged in bone tissues there, so it needs to have enough depth to hold the oral prosthetic in place. Bone grafts can be used to thicken the jawbones of patients who lack the needed jawbone depth. It takes about three months to recover from that and patients need to be healed before getting implants.
Local anesthetics are administered when implants are being placed to keep the patient from feeling pain as the dentist works on their gums and jawbone. An incision might be made for better access to the jawbone. A hole is drilled into the socket the tooth fell out from. The implant is pushed into the hole until the bone tissues surrounding it are holding it in place. Any incision made is closed to finish up this process.
The implant will fuse with the bone tissues keeping it in place over the next six months, becoming part of the patient’s jaw. This process is called osseointegration, and it turns the implant into part of the jaw.
During the next appointment, any incisions made previously might be reopened so the dentist can attach an abutment to the implant. The abutment serves as a base for the crown that replaces the lost tooth. The crown is made by taking an impression of the patient’s mouth and sending it to a lab. The crown is fitted to the tooth during the third visit to complete the process.
Fix the gap in your smile
Call or stop by our Phoenix clinic to learn more about how our dentist can replace your lost tooth with an implant.
Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Dental Implants in Phoenix, AZ.
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