Are you ready to get one or several dental implants to replace missing teeth? Here in Illinois, there are many doctors who specialize in this procedure. St. Francis Derwood Illinois Dental Implant Network is here to help you understand the process and select the right doctors to help you keep your beautiful smile for many years. The purpose of this article is to explain how dental implants can help you, so you can decide if this treatment can be beneficial. The article will go over:
- General dental implant functions and the surgical procedures.
- Alternative to dental implants.
General dental implant functions and the surgical procedures
So what exactly are dental implants? Dental implants are a different way of replacing lost teeth as they are fixed in your jaw bone so they function more like a natural tooth. Implants can be used to replace a single tooth. They can also replace several teeth to hold a fixed bridge or they can be used to secure removable partial or full dentures. They can replace teeth lost to disease or teeth that may have been knocked out from trauma. For example, playing sports such as soccer or football. The process for having dental implants involves two separate procedures.
- First Stage
- The initial surgery is to place the implant post in the jawbone and is usually carried under a local anesthetic. An incision is made in the gum tissue before a hole is precisely created. The implant is placed into the hole and the gum is stitched shut. The site is left to heal so the implant post can integrate firmly with the jaw bone. During this process new bone cells will grow around the implant post. Ensuring it will not move. To assist healing, dental appliances should not be worn after the first days after surgery.
- Second Stage
- The second surgical procedure is shorter, and takes place between three and eight months later, at which stage the implant will be exposed and evaluated. This is a process to determine if the implant post has successfully locked into the jawbone. At this point, it may be necessary to make some changes.
- If the implant has failed to lock in then it may need to be removed.
- Options at this stage can include changing the implant or placing the dental implant at a different area.
- If the implant post has been successful, then the second surgical procedure is to create an opening in the gum, exposing the implant. Then placing a healing cap onto the post. The final phase is thread that will hold the replacement crown in its position.
Alternative to dental implants
Dental implants are ideal for replacing lost teeth but it is important to know about the alternatives. These may include fixed bridges, removable dentures, root canal therapy. Root treated teeth can be restored with a posted crown. Dentures can be remade to provide a better fit. Missing teeth should always be replaced, as otherwise the remaining teeth may move causing the bite to collapse. Correcting this can be a costly and difficult dental procedure. Before deciding on dental implant treatment, your dentist will take a complete medical and dental evaluation and develop a plan. This is to ensure you do not have any health conditions that could make surgery inadvisable. In addition the dentist will use a number of different diagnostic tools such as a CT scans or dental X-rays so your implants can be placed with precision, and with minimal risk.