What are Dental Implants?
Implants are used to replace a missing tooth. An implant consists of a surgical steel implant post, with a steel abutment topped by a porcelain crown. This long-term solution fits, feels, and functions like a normal tooth.
Why get an Implant?
When we are missing a tooth for a prolonged period of time, we experience bone loss, or resorption, in that part of the jaw. When significant bone resorption occurs, it may affect adjacent teeth, making them unstable as well. In addition, adjacent teeth will shift, affecting occlusion and bite health. This can result in plaque and tartar buildup, cavities, TMD and periodontal disease (see our Invisalign section for a more in-depth explanation of bite-health and its importance). Finally, missing teeth can affect speech and chewing, and implants in highly visible locations have a cosmetic purpose as well.
What is the Procedure for Dental Implants?
The timeline for each individual patient depends on the case. Some implants can be completed in one day, while others may take several months. However, here is a general outline of the procedure:
- If there is significant bone loss, a bone graft must be placed first, so that the implant has a solid base to sit in.
- Dental implants are constructed with the help of a screw that holds the replacement tooth in place. This screw is placed into the jawbone so that it provides a stable base for the tooth.
- The next part of this process involves the use of an abutment. It forms a connection between the tooth and the bone. It also provides support to the replacement teeth.
- The last step involves the placement of the custom made tooth. At Valley View Dental Care, we use CEREC in-house milling to make crowns our here, which are shade-matched and designed to look completely natural and blend in with adjacent teeth.