What are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are a permanent option to replace missing teeth. They are very safe and can last many years. An implant consist of two parts. The first is placing the actual implant “screw”. The “screw” is surgically placed into the bone. The second part is the implant crown which is placed on the implant screw and is the tooth that you see above the gum. The dental implant “screw” and crown are treated in 2 different steps.
A broken down tooth can be extracted for a dental implant. After extraction, a bone grafting material may be placed to ensure adequate bone for the implant “screw.” After this extraction and bone graft, it takes 3-4 months for the bone to heal to be ready for the implant surgery.
The implant “screw” is placed into the bone and take 3 months to properly heal. During this healing process, a healing cap is placed over the implant. This healing cap is at the level of the gum and cannot be used to bite or chew. After the implant heals, the cap is removed and the crown is placed on the implant.
When the healing cap is removed, an impression is taken to send to the dental lab. The impression is used to make the permanent implant crown.
When the final implant crown is made, the dentist will unscrew the healing cap and install the crown. The crown will then be screwed into the implant. The crown will be checked for the proper bite and finished and polished. Dental implants can last a very long time if given proper care. It is important to keep the crown and implant clean, brushing the area twice daily
(Timeline can vary)
Implant placement →Wait 3-4 months → Implant Crown Impression→ Wait 2 weeks→ Crown Delivery
* If extraction or bone graft is necessary, it must be performed 3-4 months prior to implant placement
It is advised to wait a few days after a root canal to crown the tooth. This is to ensure that the treatment is healing well. In most cases a crown is needed on the treated tooth to assure that the filling remains sealed and uninfected.
How Long Is An Implant Appointment?
The surgical placing of the dental implant “screw” into the bone can vary greatly in time. This procedure depends on the complexity of the case and can take up to 2 hours. The implant crown appointments take about an hour. These appointments require multiple impressions of the mouth and teeth to create the perfect tooth replacement .
Types of Dental Implant Restorations
1. Single Tooth Implants
These implants replace one tooth in the mouth.
2. Multiple Tooth Implants
These replace more than one tooth. They can be multiple dental implant “screws” for one crown each or they can be dental implant screws connected by a dental implant bridge. A bridge would require less dental implant screws to be surgically placed than multiple single implant crowns.
3. Full Mouth Dental Implants
Multiple implants supporting multiple individual crowns or bridges.
4. All On 4
These 4 dental implants support a full arch of teeth connected to each other like a large dental bridge. These restorations are “fixed” meaning they stay in the mouth permanently and can only be removed by the dentist.
5. Implant Overdenture
Dentures that are retained by dental implants are known as implant overdentures. The denture stays in the mouth by locking onto the implant. Overdentures can be taken in and out by the patient and should be removed every night for cleaning. Lower overdentures most frequently require 2-4 implants and upper overdentures require 4-6 implants.