What To Expect From Dental Implants

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If you are considering a dental implant to replace a lost tooth, you may be unfamiliar with the process and the device that will be used. Here is a bit of information about dental implants to help you understand what to expect.

A Dental Implant Won't Replace An Entire Tooth

A dental implant does not replace an entire missing tooth. The implant is only used to replace the dental roots.

The implant is installed into the jawbone through the gingival tissues and is not visible above the gum line. Thus, the portion of the tooth that is readily seen in the mouth, the crown, must be replaced by another device, such as a dental cap, bridge, or implant-supported denture. The implant is fitted with an abutment to permit the attachment of a crown-replacement device.

Dental Implants Are Not Shaped Like Natural Tooth Roots

A dental implant is not shaped like the roots of a natural tooth. The implant is actually a titanium rod or screw.  Still, the device does rest in the bone of the jaw as a natural tooth root would. 

A Wound From the Insertion of an Implant May Take Months to Heal

A dental implant wound does not heal overnight. In fact, after the implant is placed, the resulting wounds to the soft tissues and bone may take a few months to heal.

As the jawbone heals, the implant wound undergoes a process called osseointegration. During this process, the cells of the bone reproduce, filling the gap between the implant and the jawbone. This integration of the jawbone with the implant results in the stabilization of the device. Following osseointegration, the implant is as secure in the mouth as a natural tooth root would be.

An Implant Can Fail

Dental implants have a high rate of success, but there are instances in which an implant can fail. If a dental implant is shifted from its position in the jawbone, osseointegration will not restart, and the device must be replaced.

Thus, the implant should be protected by wearing appropriate protective mouthpieces during participation in sports or during episodes of dental grinding. Additionally, patients should avoid chewing on excessively hard items, such as ice or hard candies. 

Implants may also fail if osseointegration is halted or interrupted by an infection. Gingival infections that occur in the tissues around an implant, such a periimplantitis, may prevent the implant would from healing properly. To avoid an infection, patients should brush and floss regularly, use antibacterial mouth rinses, and take any oral antibiotics that their dentist prescribes.

To learn more about dental implants, schedule a consultation with a dentist in your local area, or visit websites like https://www.pghdentalspa.com