Dental implants are prosthetic teeth installed directly into a patient’s jaw. Implants can be used to secure bridges, replace a missing tooth or anchor dentures and overdentures. This advanced treatment is the only option available which works with the jawbone to stimulate bone growth and regeneration to provide better support to the soft tissues. Dr. Loev will install a titanium post into the jaw, which acts as a root for the prosthetic. Titanium is used to make the metal posts of the implant because of its biocompatible nature. The visible tooth is made from a crown, usually crafted from porcelain. These crowns look almost exactly like a natural tooth.
Most of the time, the placement of a dental implant is a three visit procedure. During the initial appointment, the post is implanted into the jawbone. The next appointment will be scheduled a few weeks later to allow the titanium to fuse with the jawbone before the next portion is installed. This fusing process provides a very stable foundation because it stimulates natural bone development to support better the soft tissues of the face and mouth. Bone loss accompanied by the loss of a tooth is also reduced significantly. During the second appointment, an abutment is installed. The crown, denture or bridge designed to act as the tooth prosthetic is attached to the implant post using the abutment. An impression of the gap and the surrounding teeth will be used to craft the prosthetic tooth. At the last appointment, the prosthetic is connected to the implant via the abutment and buffed until smooth.
Dental implants should last a lifetime, with proper care. While the implant itself will not decay, the surrounding gum and soft tissue can still atrophy. The patient will need to brush, floss and attend routine visits with the dentist to ensure long-lasting dental health. These devices are truly designed to replace a tooth permanently.
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