A dental implant is a titanium post (like a tooth root) that is surgically positioned into the jawbone beneath the gum line that allows us to mount replacement teeth or a bridge into that area. An implant doesn't come loose like a denture can. Dental implants also benefit general oral health because they do not have to be anchored to other teeth, like bridges.
Advantages of Dental Implants
Because a dental implant feels and looks like a normal tooth, it can do wonders for a patient's self-esteem. Many people who were shy about smiling due to a space from a lost tooth feel perfectly comfortable after a dental implant. Beyond the aesthetics, a dental implant also makes it easier to eat and speak, since a titanium post secured directly in the jaw holds the implant in place.
The Implant Process
The time frame to complete the implant depends on many factors. The shortest time frame is about five months in the lower jaw and seven months in the upper jaw. This includes surgeries and the placement of the denture. However, the process can last a year or more, especially if you need bone grafting or other preliminary procedures.
Two surgeries usually are needed. The first one places the implants in the jawbone under your gums. The second surgery exposes the tops of the implants. The second procedure comes three to six months after the first.
A one-stage procedure is now used sometimes depending on your bone condition. In the implants and the abutment is placed in one step. The success rate of this procedure is also high.