Implant restoration is a great way to replace missing teeth and restore the appearance of your smile while also helping to ensure good oral health in the long-term. However, many choose not to receive the teeth replacement care they need out of fear that the process is extremely invasive and time-consuming, which is generally not…
The Implant Dentist and the Procedures they Perform
The job of an implant dentist is to replace one or more missing teeth with dental implants. Compared to other tooth replacement treatments, dental implants have a distinct advantage. They attach to the jaw, where they stimulate the growth and regeneration of the jawbone.
Implants also provide firm support for artificial teeth, which allows a person to maintain their normal lifestyle.
Implant dentists use a few procedures to get the most from dental implants.
Procedures commonly performed by an implant dentist
1. Bone grafts
Before a dentist puts a dental implant in the jaw, they must make sure that the jaw is strong enough to hold the implant. When a patient’s jawbone lacks the structure or bone density to anchor an implant, an implant dentist will perform bone graft surgery.
Also known as bone augmentation, a bone graft procedure goes like this: A surgeon will take bone from another part of the jaw or body and transplant it onto the dental implant site. The surgeon will then sew the gums shut to cover the jaw.
After a few months, the patient will heal as the bone graft fuses with the jaw. The patient and the surgeon may agree to use bone from an animal or cadaver. By doing so, the surgeon will avoid performing two surgeries on the patient.
Once the jaw heals, the dentist installs the implant.
2. Implant-supported crowns
If a patient only needs to replace a few teeth, an implant dentist will recommend an implant supported crown. This is an artificial tooth that has a dental implant for a root and a dental crown as the outer tooth.
Implant-supported crowns are used to keep the jawbone healthy and give the patient a beautiful smile and functional teeth.
3. Implant supported bridges
If a patient has lost several adjacent teeth, the dentist may recommend implant-supported bridges. The bridges will be used if the patient’s jaw is unable to support several implants.
Here is the procedure to install an implant-supported bridge:
First, the dentist places the dental implants and abutments on both sides of the gap. Later, the dentist covers the abutments with crowns. Finally, they attach the bridge to the crowns. The bridges can be fixed or removable.
4. Implant supported dentures
With wear and tear, dentures slip off as a person chews or talks. That is why implant dentists recommend dental implants to hold the dentures firmly in place. After the dental implants and abutments are fitted, the patient takes some time to heal.
Later, the dentures attach to the abutments by their metal frame. Implant supported dentures can be fixed or removable as well as partial or full.
Do not live your life with missing teeth
Missing teeth not only make it hard to chew and talk, but they affect your confidence as well. If you have missing teeth or an uneven smile, call our office to see how an implant dentist can help.