A dental implant is an artificial root made of titanium metal. It is inserted into the jawbone to replace the root of the natural tooth. An artificial replacement tooth is
attached to the implant. The implant acts as an anchor to hold the replacement tooth in place.
How dental implants are done
- The dentist will carefully examine your mouth and take x-rays of your head, jaw and teeth to find out if dental implants are right for you.
- During the first stage of surgery, the dentist will put a dental implant into your jawbone beneath the gum tissue. The gum tissue is then stitched back into place. As the tissue heals, the implant will bond with the bone and attach to the gum. It can take several months to heal.
- During the second stage of surgery and once the tissue is healed, the dentist will attach an abutment to the implant. An abutment is a post that connects the replacement tooth to the implant. In some cases, the first and second stage of implant surgery may be done in one single stage.
- An artificial replacement tooth is made and your dentist attaches it to the abutment. It may take several appointments to properly fit the replacement tooth to the abutment.
- When replacing several teeth or all of your teeth, a fixed bridge is anchored to your dental implants. A bridge is a dental restoration that replaces one or more missing teeth by spanning an area that has no teeth. The bridge is held firmly in place by dental implants on each side of the missing tooth or teeth.