Dental Implant Procedure
A dental implant is a titanium screw that is placed into the jawbone to replace a missing tooth root. The procedure to place a dental implant is usually carried out in the dental chair, under a local anaesthetic. This appointment involves gently preparing the area and placing the implant into the bone.
The implant will either be covered over by the surrounding gum or a small metal cap will be placed on top of the implant to assist with the healing of the surrounding gum. This metal cap may be slightly visible in the mouth during the healing period. An x-ray will be taken once the implant has been placed. Your Dentist or Prosthodontist may provide you with a temporary tooth replacement to be worn during the healing period.
Your Periodontist will see you two weeks after your dental implant is placed. They will check the healing of the area and may remove any remaining sutures.
Your dental implant will then be left to heal for approximately three months. In cases where the dental implant is covered by gum during the healing period, a second, simple surgical procedure will be needed to uncover the implant.
During the three month healing period, the titanium implant and surrounding bone will bond to each other in a process referred to as ‘osseointegration’. It is important that the implant is firmly attached to the bone before it is subjected to biting pressures. Your Periodontist will check your implant at three months after placement to ensure that it has bonded to the surrounding bone. The dental implant will then be ready for restoration by your Dentist or Prosthodontist with either a crown, bridge or denture.
How are Dental Implants Restored?
Your Periodontist will carry out the surgical procedure required to place your dental implant. They will also work closely with your Dentist or Prosthodontist, who will make the prosthesis (artificial tooth or teeth) to restore your dental implant. Your Dentist or Prosthodontist will take an impression that will be used to construct a custom-made crown, bridge or denture to replace your missing tooth or teeth.