Dental implant surgery is a procedure that replaces tooth roots with metal, screwlike posts and replaces damaged or missing teeth with artificial teeth that look and function much like real ones.
A dental implant is a metal post that replaces the root portion of a missing tooth. An artificial tooth (crown) is placed on an extension of the post (abutment) on the dental implant, giving you the look of a real tooth.
Dental implants require one or more surgical procedures, you must have a thorough evaluation to prepare for the process, including :
- Comprehensive dental exam
- Review of your medical history
- Treatment plan
In general, dental implants may be right for you if you:
- Have one or more missing teeth
- Have a jawbone that’s reached full growth
- Have adequate bone to secure the implants or are able to have a bone graft
- Have healthy oral tissues
- Don’t have health conditions that will affect bone healing
- Are unable or unwilling to wear dentures
- Want to improve your speech
- Are willing to commit several months to the process
- Don’t smoke tobacco
Dental implant surgery is usually an outpatient surgery performed in stages, with healing time between procedures.
The entire process can take many months from start to finish. Much of that time is devoted to healing and waiting for the growth of new bone in your jaw. Depending on your situation, the specific procedure done or the materials used, certain steps can sometimes be combined.