Implants can be used to replace a missing tooth, as a support for a bridge to more missing teeth, or to secure a denture. A dental implant is a man-made artificial tooth root made titanium – the same metal used to replace artificial joints in the body. Placed in the jaw by one of our carefully selected specialists, implants are fitted with a custom fabricated restoration after a short healing period of four to six months. This is the ultimate in tooth replacement.
What is involved in placing implants?
First, surgery is performed to place the anchor. Surgery can take up to several hours, and up to six months may be required for the bone to grow around the anchor and firmly hold it in place. Some implants require a second surgery in which a post is attached to connect the anchor to the replacement teeth.
With other implants, the anchor and post are already attached and are placed at the same time. After the gums have had several weeks to heal, the next step is begun. The artificial teeth are made and fitted to the post portion of the anchor. Because several fittings may be required, this step can take one to two months to complete.
Implant surgery can be done either in a dental office or in a hospital, depending upon a number of factors. A local or general anesthetic may be used. Usually pain medications and, when necessary, antibiotics are prescribed. Your dentist will give you instructions on diet and oral hygiene.
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