When dental implants first emerged onto the oral health care scene over two decades ago they were primarily used to replace a single tooth that was missing as a result of advanced tooth decay or an injury that required extraction.
As dental implant technology has continued to develop they have come into common practice with a host of other applications. Dental implants have become a very effective option for restoring the full function of your mouth, by their ability to anchor a bridge or create anchoring abutments for dental implants.
During the initial consultation the periodontist or oral surgeon will take a series X-rays or perform a CT scan. This gives them a good understanding of how much healthy bone structure is available in the area meant for the implant. If you have lost bone material in this area, they might recommend you have a bone graft procedure in advance to make sure there is enough solid structure to anchor an implant.
The implant procedure is performed outpatient basis and usually involves deep sedation. So you will need to have someone to drive you.
During the procedure, the oral surgeon makes a small incision in the gums. They will then create a narrow channel in the bone, and a titanium abutment is screwed into place. Titanium is the metal of choice because it is biologically safe and resistant to corrosion. In time, it will bond with the bone structure to create a very strong anchor.
Once the incision is closed the surgeon will cover the abutment with a strong plastic cap to protect the area while it heals. When the gums are healed and the abutment is fused to the bone, your dentist will fit you for a crown, bridge or denture anchors.
If you have questions about dental implants, please feel free to call us at (404) 321-4588 to schedule an appointment.