A dental implant is a permanent, fixed tooth replacement option that involves the surgical placement of a titanium screw within the jaw. The screw, once integrated, will support a dental prosthesis (dental implant crown). The dental implant appears and acts as a natural tooth preventing bone loss around the area and stopping the adjacent teeth from drifting into the space where the tooth used to fill.
Due to the complex nature of dental implant surgery, the placement of a dental implant requires extensive training, incredible precision and state-of-the-art technology to place the titanium screw in the exact spot it is intended for. This is to avoid the nerve in your lower jaw, the sinus which is located in your upper jaw and also the teeth either side of where the implant is being place. Such procedures should only be performed by experienced practitioners who have a wealth of knowledge in dental implant surgery.
Dental implant surgery requires a sterile environment prepared meticulously by experienced dental assistants, this significantly reduces the risk of complications such as infection following the placement of a dental implant for optimal results. Every instruments used by the dentist and dental assistant must be sterilised prior to the procedure and placed in a sterile field as soon as it has been opened. During the procedure, the dentist will prepare the area for the placement of the dental implant, this may also involve placing a bone graft if there is not sufficient bone for the the titanium screw to integrate and stabilise.
Once the dental implant has been placed, your body is allowed time to recover and heal, during this period, the titanium screw integrates within your jaw (this is a biologic process called osseointegration in which materials such as titanium form an intimate bond to bone) and gradually becomes more stable. The dentist may place some sutures in the gum around the implant to protect it and any bone graft that has been done, for this reason, it is recommended that patients take a day or two to relax following dental implants surgery at Affinity Dentistry.
Although healing time may vary from person to person, this is monitored with digital dental x-rays and assessed using a ‘torque test’ at a time when it appears stable on a digital x-ray, once the titanium screw is strong enough to support an implant crown, the final phase (restoration stage) can begin. This involves taking impressions of your upper and lower jaw so the implant crown can be fabricated to fit the space perfectly. Not only does it fill the space, it meets perfectly with your gum, the contacts of the tooth/teeth on either side and the tooth/teeth on the opposite jaw that will meet the implant crown on biting.
Dental implants have been developed to be the strongest and most reliable long term tooth replacement option and can be used to just replace a single tooth or can even be utilised to replace an entire arch of missing teeth.
Dr Amit Arora has special training in the placement and restoration of dental implants and has been successfully handling dental implant cases for many years.
For additional information or questions about dental implants Contact us at Affinity Dentistry today.