Unlike other tooth replacement options, dental implants have the potential to last a lifetime. However, they’re still a new dental technology, relatively speaking. Thanks to centuries of innovation, trial and error, and due diligence by medical professionals and scientists alike, we can now reliably replace teeth in the most effective way possible. With that being said, your dentist is aware that patients have many questions about dental implants in Coeur d’Alene.
Here are a few of the most common questions your dentist hears.
What are the Parts of Dental Implants?
Dental implants consist of three main components: the titanium post, the abutment, and the implant-retained crown.
- Implant – When your dentist talks about dental implants, he’s usually referring to the metal post itself. This is placed directly into your socket and is the main reason why implants are so sturdy.
- Abutment – This acts as a connector between your crown and implant. Once the implant has finished healing, you’ll have this metal piece placed.
- Crown – Unlike traditional dental crowns, implant-retained crowns don’t require shaving down tooth enamel to place. They come with a built-in thread that screws into the abutment.
How Do They Work?
The reason dental implants replace teeth so effectively is due to the osseointegration process. When dental implants were still in their early stages of development, scientists couldn’t figure out why test subjects kept rejecting them after placement. Turns out, the body was rejecting the material they were using. That is, until they learned titanium was biocompatible, meaning it could integrate with organic material quite effectively. Today, it’s the go-to material for most surgical implantations.
What is the Process for Receiving Them?
The implantation process occurs in three stages: the implant placement stage, the healing stage, and the crown placement stage.
During your initial surgery, your dentist surgically places the implant in the jaw, places a screw to cover the implant, then covers that with gum tissue. Over a three- to six-month-long period, the implant integrates with your natural bone.
Once the implant has sufficiently integrated, the dentist will reopen the gum tissue and place the abutment. This will require a few more weeks of healing as the gum tissue forms around the exposed portion of the implant. They’ll typically provide a temporary crown at this stage as well.
In the final stage, you’ll have an impression of your mouth taken so the crown can be fabricated. After a few weeks, you’ll come back for your final appointment and have the permanent, all-ceramic crown placed.
Do They Require Special Care?
Dental implants require no more care than your natural teeth. That includes:
- Brushing twice a day with a fluoridated toothpaste for at least two minutes
- Flossing daily
- Visiting your dentist every six months
- Keeping a balanced diet that promotes good oral health
Have more questions on dental implants in Coeur d’Alene? Schedule a free consultation with your dentist today!
About the Author
After earning his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the Loma Linda University School of Dentistry, Dr. Filip Orban joined the Implant Northwest Study Club. This helps him stay up-to-date on the latest advancements in dental implant technology, allowing him to provide the best care possible. To learn more about the practice, contact your dentist in Coeur d’Alene through his website.