What Goes Into A Dental Implant Procedure?
Dental implants offer the only complete tooth replacement option available. Dr. K. Michael Murphy, Dr. Alexandra Wetzel and Dr. Stephen Levy, your Baltimore, MD, dentists at K. Michael Murphy and Associates, share information about the implant process.
What are implants?
Dental implants are small titanium posts that look like screws. They replace your tooth roots and are designed to fuse to your jawbone during a process called osseointegration. Once your implant is fully fused in the jawbone, your Baltimore dentist connects a crown to the top of it. Implants offer several unique benefits. They offer excellent biting power, feel just like the tooth you lost and may prevent jawbone loss that can occur after tooth extraction,
The first step
Your dentist will take X-rays of your mouth to ensure that your jawbone is deep enough to support a dental implant. If it's been a while since you lost your tooth, the jawbone underneath may have started to shrink. Fortunately, a bone graft can restore depth. Although adding a graft is a crucial step if you lack sufficient jawbone depth, it may lengthen the implant process.
The implant process starts when a small hole is drilled in your jawbone. Before the procedure begins, you'll be given local anesthetic to ensure that you don't feel any pain.
Your dentist will place the implant in the opening and covers it with gum tissue. During the next three to six months, the implant will gradually bond to the bone.
The second step
When osseointegration is complete, your dentist will open the gum covering your implant and add an abutment to the top of it. The abutment is a tiny post that supports the dental crown. You won't receive a new crown immediately, as it will take a few weeks for your gums to heal.
The third and fourth steps
During the third step of the process, your dentist will make an impression of your mouth. A dental laboratory will use the impression to create your new crown. Two or three weeks later, you'll receive the permanent crown and the implant process will be complete.
Restore your smile with dental implants. Call Dr. Murphy, Dr. Wetzel and Dr. Levy, your Baltimore, MD, dentists at K. Michael Murphy and Associates, at (410) 235-1233 to schedule your appointment.