According to the American College of Prosthodontists (ACP), about 120 million Americans are missing at least one tooth. Fortunately, advancements in technology and techniques have led to the advent of dental implants! We here at Elite Dental of Natick specialize in dental implants due to their many benefits. This type of restoration is usually the ideal solution for missing teeth.
What Are Dental Implants?
A dental implant is a small titanium screw that mimics the root function of a prosthetic tooth. Most implant-supported restorations consist of three components:
||The Implant Screw: The screw is made from titanium due to the transition metal’s unique ability to fuse with living bone.
||The Abutment: Usually made from titanium or porcelain, the abutment acts as an additional support structure, which links the implant screw to your restoration.
||The Prosthesis: These days, implants can be used to support a single crown, partial fixed bridge, or full-arch restoration. Most prostheses are fabricated using porcelain or zirconia. Both of these restoration materials offer improved durability, longevity, and aesthetics.
Dental Implant Process
As with other restorative dentistry, the implant process begins with a consultation appointment. During your consultation, Dr. Bethany Polnar will perform a comprehensive exam using advanced diagnostic tools to determine whether or not dental implants are right for you. Once we conclude you are a suitable candidate, we can schedule your procedure.
The procedure is typically split up into two minor surgeries. During your first surgery, we place the implant screw underneath the gum tissue and into the jawbone. The number of implants we place depends on the type of restoration. For instance, a full-arch appliance can require as little as four implants and upwards of eight.
Once your implant is in place, we must wait six months to a year before moving forward with the rest of your treatment. During this healing period, the implant and your jawbone fuse thanks to a unique process known as osseointegration. The powerful bond between the screw and underlying bone is largely responsible for the many benefits of dental implants.
After osseointegration is complete, we can schedule your second and final surgery. During this appointment, Dr. Bethany Polnar will reopen your incision to expose the head of the implant screw and attach the abutment. In some instances, the abutment can also be attached during the implant placement procedure, eliminating the need for a second surgery.
Once the abutment is in place, we will take an impression of the area. This impression will be used to fabricate your final restoration. During the fabrication process, we may give you a temporary restoration to protect the implant site.
At your final appointment, we will remove the temporary and check the margins of your new restoration. We may need to make some last-minute adjustments to ensure the proper fit. After we are satisfied with the fit, we will permanently bond the restoration to your implant.
Benefits of Dental Implants
Dental implants have become the industry standard for tooth replacements for several reasons. In short, an implant-supported restoration will look, feel, and function just like your natural teeth. Implants also offer superior longevity when compared to more conventional alternatives. With the proper care and maintenance, your implant could even last a lifetime!
Schedule a Consultation Appointment
Find out today whether or not you, too, could benefit from dental implants! Call (508) 319-9339 to schedule your consultation appointment now!