A dental implant is an artificial tooth root placed into your jaw to hold a replacement tooth or bridge. Unlike dentures, implants do not come loose and are not removable. This restorative dentistry treatment may be an option for those who have missing teeth.
There are two types of dental implants: endosteal and subperiosteal. Endosteal implants are directly implanted into the jawbone; subperiosteal implants, on the other hand, are placed through a metal framework post placed on the gums. People who have minimal bone height most commonly use this type of implant. Whatever type of dental implants you may need, we at Napa Valley Dental Group will be glad to help you.
The entire process will usually require several visits to our office here in Napa, CA.
- On your first visit, your dentist will ask for your dental history and examine your mouth. An X-ray will be taken so the dentist can have a clearer vision of your teeth, jaw, and bones.
- The next step is the extraction of the damaged tooth (if any). If it has already been removed, the dentist will proceed with the next step. If some teeth still need to be extracted, the entire procedure will take more time because we will have to wait until the extraction sites have healed before proceeding to the next stage.
- To be able to put the implant, you will be placed under local or general anesthesia. Once you are fully relaxed, and the site is numb, the dentist will make an incision to open your gums. He will put a titanium post in the bone socket of your missing tooth. As the jawbone heals, it will grow over the implanted titanium post and will undergo a process called osseointegration. Typically, the process takes about eight to twelve weeks, but it varies from patient to patient.
- On your next visit, your dentist will attach an abutment to your implant. This is to hold the implant securely to the new tooth. In the meantime, your dental crown/s will be made in the laboratory using an impression taken from your mouth.
- On your last appointment, your dentist will attach the new tooth or teeth, also called dental crown using a dental adhesive. They will check your bite, polish the crown and make sure it is securely attached to the abutment.