The absence of teeth can lead to various dental issues, including challenges with eating and speaking, as well as a decline in self-esteem. Thankfully, dental implants provide a long-lasting solution for replacing lost teeth. But have you ever wondered how these tiny replacements are made? Here is a closer look at the process of creating tooth implants, as well as the implant procedure itself.
Designing the Implant: The first step in creating a tooth implant is designing it. This involves taking a series of X-rays and impressions of the patient’s mouth to create a 3D model of the missing tooth. From there, the dentist will analyze the patient’s bite and jaw structure to determine the ideal shape and placement of the implant. Once the design is finalized, the specifications are sent to a dental laboratory for fabrication.
Fabricating the Implant: The dental lab then uses the 3D model to create a custom implant that’s tailored to the patient’s individual needs. The implant is composed of titanium, a biocompatible material that gradually fuses with the jawbone, creating a strong base for the replacement tooth. The implant is shaped to match the patient’s teeth and ensure a natural appearance.
Abutment Placement: Once the implant is created, it’s time to place it in the patient’s mouth. This is done in a multi-step process, starting with the placement of an abutment. The abutment links the implant to the replacement tooth, ensuring stability. The dentist will make an incision in the patient’s gum to expose the implant, then attach the abutment to the top of the implant.
Crown Placement: After the abutment is in place, it’s time for the crown to be attached. The crown is the visible part of the implant, the part that looks and functions like a real tooth. Like the implant itself, the crown is custom-made to match the patient’s teeth. The dentist will take an impression of the abutment and surrounding teeth and then send it to the laboratory for fabrication. Once it’s ready, the patient returns to the dentist for the final step in the implant procedure.
Post-Procedure Care: Following the completion of the implant procedure, patients are recommended to adhere to a rigorous oral care regimen to promote the fusion of the implant with the jawbone and maintain its overall health. This means daily brushing and flossing, along with consistent visits to the dentist for check-ups and cleanings. Additionally, patients should avoid hard or sticky foods that could dislodge the implant.
Tooth implants are a valuable option for patients who want to replace missing teeth, and understanding the process of creating them can help patients feel more comfortable with the procedure. By opting for dental implants, patients can restore their smile and oral health to its former glory and enjoy all the benefits that come with it. If you're thinking about getting dental implants, have a conversation with your dentist to gather more information about the procedure and determine if it's suitable for you.
For more information on tooth implants, contact a professional near you.