Dental implants are designed to provide a foundation for replacement teeth that look, feel and function like natural teeth. Implants are tiny titanium posts that are placed into the jawbone where teeth are missing. The bone integrates with the titanium post creating a strong foundation for artificial teeth.
The methods of achieving this vary depending on the condition of the implant site. For most patients, the placement of implants is done in two stages. First, the implant is placed within the jawbone. For the first three to six months following surgery, the implants are beneath the surface of the gums gradually integrating or fusing to the jawbone. After osseointegration has taken place, a post called an abutment is placed on the implant. Impressions are then taken and a crown is made to match the existing surrounding teeth and is cemented onto the abutment.
If a tooth has been broken or is decayed and needs to be extracted, the implant is placed after the extraction site has healed, but if there is adequate bone after an extraction and the surrounding gum is not damaged, the implant may be placed the same day the tooth is extracted.
If the implant needs to be placed in the upper jaw, it is common for the area below the sinuses to not have the adequate amount of bone to support an implant. In this case a bone graft may be necessary to stimulate bone growth. This adds considerable time to the dental implant procedure since the bone must be allowed to heal before placing the implant.
Another option for placing an implant if the bone structure is not suitable is the sub-periosteal dental implant procedure, where a custom fit plate is made to sit between the jawbone and the gums. Measurements may be taken by CAT scan or by exposing the jawbone and taking an impression.
A consultation with your dentist will tell you which dental implant procedure is best for you. For more information or to schedule a dental implant consultation contact Prestige Oral Surgery at (732)297-7000 or visit us online at www.prestigeoralsurgery.com.