Dental implants are excellent replacements for missing or damaged teeth. They look and feel natural after the healing process is complete. Since they replace both the root and crown, they provide durability and stability for artificial teeth.
If you are interested in receiving single-tooth dental implants, you may want to know how the procedure works and how long it will take to receive your final restorations. This blog outlines the single-tooth dental implant procedure and explains how it can help you receive beautiful, long-lasting replacements for damaged or missing teeth.
Benefits of Dental Implants
- Preserve jawbone health
- Prevent facial sagging caused by missing teeth
- Regain chewing and speaking function
- Improve your self-confidence
- Keep other teeth from shifting and causing oral health problems like cavities and gum disease
The Dental Implant Procedure
We have provided a step-by-step outline of the dental implant process. The healing times given are approximate and may vary depending on your circumstances.
Step 1: Consultation
Before beginning the dental implant process, you will meet with your dentist to evaluate your oral health. Your dentist will discuss your expectations for the process and whether you are a good candidate for the procedure.
Using our Cone Beam 3D Imaging scanner, we will learn about your oral anatomy and determine whether you have sufficient bone mass for a dental implant. If you do not have enough bone mass, you may be able to undergo a bone graft procedure as described below.
Step 2: Tooth Extraction
If you have a damaged or decayed tooth, the dentist will extract it to make way for the implant. We can perform many extractions in the office.
Step 3: Bone Grafts
If the dentist determines that you do not have enough bone mass in your jaw for placing an implant, you may need a bone graft procedure. Bone grafting often happens at the same time as extracting a tooth.
During a bone graft procedure, the doctor makes a small opening in the bone and inserts ground and sterilized bone material. This material helps your natural bone grow around it like a scaffold. The doctor places a dissolvable membrane over the bone graft to keep it in place and secures the gum with stitches. A bone graft takes about four to six months to heal enough to place a dental implant.
Step 4: Placing the Implant Post
The implant post is a small anchor made of biocompatible titanium. The doctor makes a small opening in the gum and jawbone, inserting the post.
A natural process called osseointegration will help the anchor bond with your jawbone and create a sturdy attachment point for your implant. The dentist closes the gum over the anchor. A healing period of three to six months follows while the post bonds with your natural bone.
Step 5: Placing the Abutment
Once the dentist is satisfied with how well the post has integrated with the bone, they will reopen the gum and add an abutment or cap to the top of the anchor. The stainless steel abutment will hold the crown that completes your restoration. After attaching the abutment, the dentist secures the gum around it and allows it to heal for about two weeks before the next step.
Step 6: Placing the Crown
Next, the dentist places your final restoration. Your crown will look and feel very much like a natural tooth. With a complete smile, you will feel more confident and enjoy renewed chewing and speaking functions.
Step 7: Maintenance
Caring for a single-tooth dental implant is simple. You should brush and floss as you would with your healthy natural teeth. Keep all scheduled dental appointments so your doctor can check your implant's health.
While it may take several months to place a dental implant, you will enjoy its benefits for many years. The post may last a lifetime with proper care, and the crown on top of your implant may need periodic replacement due to normal wear.
Call Manhattan Dental Spa
If you want to know whether dental implants are right for you, you can schedule an appointment for a consultation. We can help you understand the benefits of dental implants and start your journey toward a complete, healthy smile. Please call our Murray Hill, NYC, office at 212-683-2530 to book your appointment today.