The dental implant process spans several months, though it only consists of two steps. The delay is necessary because the bone needs time to heal around the artificial root in order to be sturdy enough to permanently support the dentures, bridges or caps that are affixed to it. The first visit to the dentist office is usually used to prepare for the procedure. Is it the right choice for the needs of this individual? Is the jawbone thick enough to support an implant?
Once it is determined that this procedure is ideal for the patient, the next office visit consists of the first step of the process. A small cut is made in the gums with a scalpel, and through this small incision, the jawbone is drilled to accommodate the specialized metal screw that acts as the artificial root. This screw is placed, secured, the gums are sutured over it and then it is given time to heal. Months pass as the bone accepts the screw, and in a separate office visit the gums over the artificial root are trimmed and a post is added. This post is where the cap, dentures or bridges are attached. Sometimes it is put on immediately, while other times a separate visit is required. Although the dental implant process is not a quick fix, it is a permanent and comfortable one.
The end results look and feel natural while preventing common problems after tooth loss, such as shrinkage of the jawbone. Getting an implant is an attractive oral solution, as well as a functional one. The same oral hygiene techniques that are beneficial to natural teeth help ensure the success of the artificial one, so healthy habits should be practiced after the procedure.