What Is Implant Surgery?
A dental implant has two main components: the physical implant, which acts as an artificial dental root and connects the implant with the jaw bone, and the crown that is placed on top of the implant post to replace the visible part of the tooth. Dental implants are one of the best ways to treat tooth loss, as this is the only treatment that not only preserves facial structure and prevents jawbone loss but also promotes the development of healthy new bone cells. Implant surgery consist of a small titanium metal post, a metal abutment that serves as a connector and a dental crown.
The Surgery Procedure
After we have deemed you a good candidate for dental implants, the first step is to place the implant. Before we do this we will first apply a local anesthesia so you don’t experience any discomfort during your treatment. Then we will open up the gums and drill a small hole into the jawbone. The metal implant will then be placed into the drilled section of the bone, after which the gums will be stitched back up and left to heal.
The healing process will take several weeks. During this time a process known as osseointegration occurs. This is a naturally occurring phenomenon in which the healthy tissue and bone surrounding the implant begin to fuse and meld with the metal post until they become one.
Once osseointegration has happened, we will uncover the implant and place a metal abutment over the top of the implant. An abutment serves as a connector, holding the dental crown firmly to the implant. Once the abutment is cemented to the implant, we may give your mouth several more weeks to heal before cementing a dental crown onto the implant and restoring your smile.
Who Is A Candidate for Dental Implant Surgery?
Implant Surgery can be a great option for someone who is looking to replace a missing permanent tooth; however, dental implants aren’t always the best option for everyone. If you are suffering from uncontrolled gum disease or decay, dental implants may not be right for you. This may also be the case for someone who has untreated health conditions like heart disease or diabetes, as well as those who have compromised immune systems or are currently undergoing radiation therapy.
Dental implants are also not a good option for smokers, as there is a higher failure rate in those who do smoke or use tobacco products.
Want to learn more about implant surgery from Gary W. Machiko, DMD?
Call our Pittsburgh, PA office at (412) 367-1319 for more information.