If your dental practitioner has recommended tooth implants as a tooth replacement, you probably want to know how do dental implants work before you go ahead with treatment. Your dental implant is a permanent artificial tooth, that replaces your missing tooth at the root, and if looked after well, could last for the rest of your lifetime.
What Are Dental Implants?
A tooth implant is an anchor or screw that is embedded surgically into your jaw bone, and fuses with your jaw bone over a period of time. Once your implant has integrated with your jaw, your dental practitioner will fit an extension and a dental crown to the top so that no one else will be able to tell the difference.
In order to be eligible for a dental implant you will need to be free of gum disease, not have any uncontrolled health conditions and not suffer from a condition that inhibits your body’s ability to heal itself.
How Do Dental Implants Work?
Dental implants are the most effective tooth replacement because, unlike dental bridges and dentures, they prevent bone loss by acting as artificial tooth roots, fit your mouth very well and provide the same function as a natural tooth.
It is possible to have a single implant, multiple dental implants or the all-on-four implant treatment, which can support an entire arch of teeth.
What Can You Expect From Dental Implant Surgery?
Your dental implant surgery consists of a series of mini procedures spanning 12-18 months, that may include
If you do not have enough jaw bone to support the dental implant but you meet all other eligibility criteria you may need a bone graft to stimulate the production of more jaw bone.
If you do have strong enough jaw bone you will not need bone grafting.
Placing The Implant
This can be done after a minor bone graft or in separate procedure if you are having a major graft. Once the implant has been embedded, you will need to wait for a few months until it has integrated with your jaw.
Attaching The Extension
Your dentist will have to open up the surgical site in order to attach the extension or abutment that your dental crown will be affixed to. Once the abutment has been fixed, the site will need to be stitched up again and you will have another period of healing.
Crafting Your Dental Crown
Your dental practitioner will create a dental crown so that your artificial tooth looks, feels and functions like the other teeth in your mouth. Once the crown is fitted it will be able to withstand the same forces of biting as your natural teeth.
How Long Does It Take To Recover From Dental Implant Surgery?
You will start to feel better in the days following your surgery and any residual bleeding, swelling or discomfort should improve within seven to ten days. It will take a few months for you to heal fully, especially when the dental implant osseo-integrates with your jaw.
If you still have questions about how do dental implants work, it’s best to speak to a professional to discuss your personal circumstances. Please contact us for an appointment: (03) 5749 1208.