Despite the significant amounts of funds channeled into dental care, a considerable number of Americans still suffer tooth loss. The causes are primarily injuries, tooth decay, or periodontal disease. While dentures and bridges have been the only available treatment options for patients with missing teeth over the years, dental implants are the newest addition to a dentist’s solutions.

What Are They?

Put simply, dental implants are artificial tooth roots. They offer a strong foundation for both permanent and replacement teeth designed to match your natural teeth.

There are two types of dental implants:

  • Endosteal Implants: These are the most common type of implants, and they resemble tiny screws. Typically, these implants are made from body-safe materials like titanium. Endosteal implants are usually surgically inserted into your jawbone and could anchor more than one tooth.
  • Subperiosteal Implants: Your dentist will recommend these as a last resort. Your dentist will recommend these implants if you lack enough healthy jawbone to support endosteal implants. Rather than being inserted inside the bone, these implants are placed on or above the jawbone.

What to Expect During a Dental Implant Procedure

Getting your implants fixed requires you to make several trips to the dentist’s office in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and this could go on for three to nine months. Here are the steps you’ll have to pass through:

Evaluation

Before anything else, your dentist has to evaluate your gums, teeth, and jawbone. By doing so, they will establish whether or not you have enough healthy bone to support the implant. The evaluation also helps your dentist examine you for periodontal disease.

If you have a very soft or thin jawbone, a bone graft will be necessary before the implant process begins. During the procedure, the dentist puts you under general anesthesia, IV sedation, or local anesthesia, depending on the option that best suits you.

Placement

In the case of an endosteal implant, the dentist cuts your gum to expose the jawbone lying beneath. They then proceed to drill holes into the bone to create room for the implant post.

On the other hand, subperiosteal implants will not require any drilling of the jawbone. The implant post will simply be placed above or on the bone.

No matter your choice of implant, one thing is certain–you will experience some swelling and discomfort during and after the procedure. This could go on for a few days, but you can still go back to your routine.

Osseointegration

After placement of the dental implant, it may take up to 6 months for new bone to grow near the screw. The process is referred to as osseointegration and loosely translated to “combining with the bone.”

Osseointegration allows your jawbone to strengthen and surround the implant. This keeps the implant in place and helps it perform its duties as artificial roots.

Abutment Placement

An abutment is a metal extender that your dentist adds to the implant. They may do this during the first or second procedure. Abutments serve to establish a connection between the replacement tooth and implant. After this step, it may be a while before your gums heal.

Tooth Placement

With the healing complete, it is time for the dentist to take your teeth impressions and make you a permanent replacement tooth. Your new tooth will have a natural feel and look. You will have to take good care of it, so it lasts you for a lifetime.

Benefits of Dental Implants

Here are the pros of dental implants:

  • Improved speech
  • Improved appearance
  • Durability
  • Convenience 
  • Easier eating

Finding the Right Dental Implants

Thanks to implants, you do not have to endure the embarrassment of missing teeth. All you need is an appointment with a dentist at The Smile Spa in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.