At Clover Hills Dental in Surrey, our dentists can use dental implants to help restore the function and appearance of patients' smiles. If you're weighing up your tooth replacement options, you may be wondering just what a dental implant is. Our dentists explain...
Thinking about getting dental implants?
Dental implants can be an ideal way to replace missing teeth. This natural looking tooth replacement option can often help to restore the function and appearance of our patients' smiles. That said, if you're considering dental implants it's important to understand exactly what dental implants are, and how the implant process works.
The Parts & Function of The Dental Implant
Generally, all 3 parts of the dental implant are collectively known as 'a dental implant' however, the actual implant portion is a tiny titanium screw which your dentist can surgically place in your jaw in the spot where the root of the missing tooth once was.
This tiny screw forms a 'root' or stable base to which a single artificial tooth or other restoration can be attached. As the jaw heals around the dental implant, it will become integrated with your jaw bone and form a strong permanent base to your tooth replacement.
Healing after the implant surgery takes approximately 4-6 months. Once your mouth has completely healed the next step in the dental implant process can begin.
Next, the abutment is attached to the dental implant. This part is a connector which secures the restoration (artificial tooth or teeth) to the dental implant. An abutment is typically made from titanium or a ceramic material.
Following another healing period, your restoration can be now attached to the abutment. Your restoration could be a single artificial tooth, or multiple artificial teeth in the form of a denture or bridge.
- Dental Crown - If you are replacing a single tooth a dental crown can be used. The dental crown will be screwed or cemented to the abutment to create an artificial tooth which will look and function almost exactly like a natural tooth. Dental crowns can be made from a mixture of metal and porcelain, or ceramic.
- Bridge - A dental bridge can be used to replace a number of missing teeth in a row. A bridge can be attached to just two implants which hold it securely in place. A dental bridge is typically made from porcelain.
- Denture - Implant supported dentures can be used if you are replacing a full jaw of teeth. Implant supported dentures are typically made with either acrylic resin or porcelain teeth. Unlike conventional dentures, implant supported dentures are permanently secured to dental implants to create a secure and natural looking tooth replacement.