A dental implant restoration is a prosthetic tooth attached to a metal post that’s implanted into your jaw. Dental implants are a popular alternative to dentures and bridges for patients missing one or more teeth. The implant itself is made of very strong, medical-grade titanium, the same metal used in joint implants. It attaches to the crown (or a larger denture) using a special piece called an abutment. Implants are very secure, and they feel, look, and work just like a natural tooth.
The dental implant procedure typically takes three visits. During the first visit, the dentist implants the metal post in your jaw. If your jaw bone is very thin, you might need a bone graft to supplement your own bone with a donor graft or, in some cases, bone taken from your palate. The dentist performs the bone graft procedure usually at the same time as the implant placement. Once the post is in place, it’s left alone for several weeks to allow it to fuse to the bone — a process called osseointegration.
At the second visit, your dentist attaches the abutment piece to the post and then takes an impression of the area. The impression goes to the lab where the crown is made. At the third visit, your dentist carefully fits the crown (or denture) to the abutment and adjusts it for a perfect fit.
No, one of the advantages of dental implants is that you care for them just as you care for your other teeth, with regular brushing, flossing, and dental checkups and cleanings to keep the gums healthy. While the artificial tooth can’t decay, the surrounding gums can still become infected, just as with any other tooth. Having routine checkups and cleanings helps keep your gums healthy and free of disease.
Most patients find dental implants to be more comfortable and secure than dentures and bridges. Because an implant is attached to your jaw bone, it can’t slip or cause sore spots as dentures can. Plus, implants feel more natural and are easier to care for than bridges. Designed like a natural tooth, implants also promote the natural bone replacement cycle in your jaw, reducing the risk of future tooth loss that can occur once a single tooth is extracted or falls out.
At Santa Clarita Advanced Dentistry, we accept all PPO insurance plans. Here is a list of some of the plans we accept. Please contact our office if you do not see your insurance provider listed.
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