The Anatomy of a Dental Implant
By Stephen Rogers on July 07, 2017
For those who suffer from tooth loss, dental implants are a viable treatment option. At Greater Long Island Dental, we can pair dental implants with different dental restorations to replace one or more missing teeth, helping patients to enjoy the confidence and comfort of restored dental health. Although it's common to refer to the whole restoration as a dental implant, dental implant restorations consist of multiple components. Let's take a closer look at these components as we explore the anatomy of a dental implant. For more information about dental implants, contact our Long Island, NY practice to schedule a consultation.
The Dental Implant
The first component of a dental implant is the implant itself. Dental implants are small, screw-like rods, which are typically made of titanium. Dental implants act as an artificial tooth root to which a dental restoration is attached.
Dental implants are inserted into the jawbone through minor oral surgery. As the jawbone heals around the dental implant, a permanent bond is formed through a process called osseointegration. The success of dental implant treatment depends on the completion of osseointegration, which can take several months to complete.
Once the jawbone has sufficiently healed, the abutment may be placed. The abutment is a small piece of metal that fits on top of the implant. The abutment allows for the attachment of the dental restoration to the implant itself.
Sometimes the abutment is placed at the same time as the dental implant. If the abutment is placed after osseointegration is complete, a small incision will be made within the gums to provide access to the dental implant. The abutment is then screwed onto the implant and the gums are allowed to heal before the final part of dental implant treatment, attachment of the dental restoration, is completed.
The Dental Restoration
Dental implant treatment is completed with the attachment of the dental restoration. There are different types of restorations that may be attached to dental implants. The type of restoration used depends on the number of teeth being replaced. These restorations include:
- Dental crowns: When paired with dental implants, dental crowns may be used to replace individual teeth, making them most suitable for those who are missing one or two teeth.
- Implant-supported bridges: For those who are missing multiple teeth, dental implants may be paired with implant-supported bridges. Implant-supported bridges are similar to traditional bridges and consist of one or more artificial teeth. The bridge is attached to two dental implants, providing the replacement of multiple teeth with a single restoration.
- Implant-supported dentures: For those who are missing a full arch of teeth, dental implants may be paired with implant-supported dentures. Implant-supported dentures make it possible to replace a full arch of missing teeth using only a few dental implants. Implant-supported dentures firmly anchor within the mouth, allowing denture wearers to enjoy the confidence and comfort of securely fitted dentures.
Find out if Dental Implants Are Right for You
If you are missing one or more teeth, dental implant treatment may be right for you. To find out if you're a candidate, please schedule a consultation at Greater Long Island Dental.
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