Many people dream of having a perfect smile, but issues like missing teeth or tooth decay can stand in the way. Modern dentistry offers solutions to these problems through advanced procedures like dental implants.
The number of Americans with dental implants is estimated to reach approximately 23% by 2026—up from just 6% today! If you’re wondering how to get a tooth implant, you landed in the right place. Let’s look at what you need to know about dental implant procedures.
What Are Dental Implants, And What Are They For?
In short, a dental implant is a natural-looking replacement for missing teeth. Dental implants consist of three parts:
- Implant body: a post made from titanium placed into your jawbone like a screw that acts as an artificial tooth root.
- Abutment: a metal connector between the implant and the replacement tooth or dental crown.
- Crown: a durable fake tooth that connects to the abutment, filling in the gaps left by one or more teeth.
Dental implants are becoming increasingly popular as more people discover that dental implants can:
- Fill in missing teeth: Implants can restore your smile if you’re missing one tooth or several, filling in gaps with a natural-looking replacement.
- Replace damaged teeth: Severely decayed or fractured teeth may need extraction. Implants are a durable, functional replacement option.
- Enhance appearance: Implants have a natural shape and emerge from the gumline. They can significantly improve the look of a smile.
- Improve eating: People with missing teeth often have difficulty chewing. Dental implants enable proper biting and chewing strength.
- Prevent bone loss: The implants fuse to the jawbone, preventing bone loss after losing teeth.
- Avoid adjacent teeth damage: Unlike bridges, implants don’t rely on neighboring teeth for support. This prevents further damage to healthy teeth.
- Restore confidence: Many people feel self-conscious about missing or damaged teeth. Dental implants can renew self-esteem by completing your smile.
Now, what is the process of getting implants? Let’s talk about how to get a tooth implant.
What Is The Process Of Getting Implants?
“How are implants placed?” is a common question for those considering dental implants. While dental implant procedures require surgery, it’s a fairly straightforward process. Here’s the step-by-step process of what is involved in dental implants.
1. Initial Consultation
Your initial consultation is a pivotal step in the process of getting implants, as it allows the dentist to assess your oral health and determine whether dental implants are even the right option for you. This appointment has two essential parts:
- Oral Health Evaluation: The dentist will conduct a thorough examination of your teeth and gums, checking for any underlying issues that may affect the success of a dental implant procedure.
- CBCT Scan: A Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT) scan will be performed to ensure your jawbone is healthy and strong enough to support the implant and that there is enough space between your teeth for the implant. This advanced imaging technique provides a 3D view of your jawbone structure.
2. Customized Treatment Plan
Once it’s established that dental implants are a suitable option for you, the next step is creating a personalized treatment plan. This plan is tailored to your unique needs and goals and takes into account factors like:
- Number of Missing Teeth: The dentist will determine how many dental implants are required to replace your missing teeth.
- Jawbone Condition: The health and density of your jawbone play a crucial role in the success of the implant. If your jawbone isn’t strong enough, the dentist may recommend bone grafting to provide a sturdy foundation.
- Additional Procedures: If there are damaged or decayed teeth that need replacement, tooth extractions may be necessary before implant placement.
3. Dental Implant Placement
The actual implant placement typically unfolds in two stages:
- Surgical Implant Placement: First, the dentist will surgically place the dental implant post into your jawbone. This implant post acts as an artificial root, providing stability for the replacement tooth.
- Healing and Osseointegration: After implant placement, a healing period is necessary, lasting from several weeks to several months. This phase allows for osseointegration, a natural process where the implant fuses with your jawbone, creating a secure and stable foundation.
4. Abutment Attachment
Once osseointegration is complete and the implant is firmly integrated with your jawbone, a minor surgical procedure is performed to attach an abutment to the implant post. The abutment serves as a connector between the implant and the replacement tooth.
5. Dental Crown or Prosthesis Placement
With the abutment securely in place, impressions or digital scans are taken to create a custom-made dental crown or prosthesis. This replacement tooth is meticulously designed to blend seamlessly with your natural teeth in terms of color, shape, and size. The dental crown or prosthesis is then expertly attached to the abutment, completing the dental implant restoration.
Finally, your dentist will schedule follow-up appointments to monitor the healing process and ensure the long-term success of your implant.
To maintain the health and longevity of your dental implant, it’s crucial to adhere to regular dental check-ups and practice good oral hygiene, including diligent brushing, flossing, and professional cleanings.
Are Dental Implants Dangerous?
Thanks to advances in technology and medicine, dental implants are safe for most people. However, it is a surgical procedure, so there are some risk factors to be aware of:
- Infection: As with any surgical procedure, there’s a risk of infection at the implant site. Your dentist may prescribe antibiotics as a preventive measure. Proper sterilization and post-operative care can help minimize this risk.
- Nerve damage: During implant placement, there is a risk of damaging nearby nerves. Using 3D imaging allows your dentist to avoid nerves. Monitoring during surgery and post-op exams also helps detect any nerve issues.
- Sinus problems: Dental implants in the upper jaw, particularly in the back, may extend into the sinus cavity. If this space is not properly managed during the procedure, it can lead to sinus problems such as sinusitis or implant protrusion into the sinus.
- Failure: While dental implants have a high success rate, there is still a small chance that the implant may not successfully integrate with the jawbone. Factors such as poor bone quality, smoking, or certain medical conditions can increase the risk of implant failure.
A qualified dentist can minimize the risk of adverse reactions or poor outcomes. For example, by taking a CBCT scan initially, the dentist can thoroughly evaluate your jawbone to reduce the chances of implant failure due to poor bone quality.
Transform Your Smile With Dental Implants
Now that you know how to get a tooth implant, it’s time to reach out to your local dentist to learn whether dental implants are right for you.
With today’s advanced techniques, implants are safe, long-lasting, and life-changing. If you’re ready to learn more about getting a dental implant procedure that can transform your smile, contact our team at Northside Dental Co.
Our experienced dentists specialize in dental implants and will provide you with all the information you need to make an informed decision about your dental health. Book your appointment today to learn more about how tooth implants can improve your life!