Important Facts about Dental Implants
Dental implants are capable of replacing a single tooth, multiple teeth, or even all of your teeth. There are two main types of implants. The first type is surgically inserted deep into your jawbone, while the other type is placed onto the jawbone but fixed into place with the assistance of a special metal framework. The amount of strength and density in your jawbone is often the determining factor for which type of implant you will receive.
For the type that is surgically implanted into your jawbone, it can take between six and nine months to fully heal from the placement procedure. During the procedure, the surgeon will first cut the gums open at the point of the missing tooth. Once the bone is exposed, the surgeon will drill a hole into the jawbone and insert the metal post of the implant. The gums will be closed over the implant and you will be allowed to heal. During the several months of healing, your bone will actually fuse with the implant in a process called osseointegration. Some implants require an additional surgery to place an abutment on top of the post, while others do not. This type of implant can be fit with a single crown or an implant-supported bridge.
The type of implant that is placed on top of the jawbone is often used for a procedure called all-on-four dental implants. For patients without the adequate bone density to be able to support the other type of implant, four strategic points containing the best levels of bone density are chosen. The replacement teeth will rest on these four implants, which usually is made to accommodate a full arch of replacement teeth. Mini dental implants can also be used for patients with a low level of bone density.
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