Dental Implants and Their Impact on Bone Loss
Dental implants are artificial teeth that mimic the exact structure of a natural tooth, making them very unique when compared with other types of tooth replacements.
Implants don’t just look like real teeth; they act like them as well. Losing a tooth can lead to a process called bone reabsorption, which essentially means the bone tissue reduces over time.
Getting a dental implant right after losing a tooth can prevent this, but implants can also help keep the bone healthy if reabsorption occurs.
How Do Dental Implants Stop Bone Loss?
The metal post of the implant gets inserted surgically into the jawbone, where it’s able to stimulate it. The stimulation occurs every time you put pressure on the implant, such as while you chew your food.
When the bone is stimulated, it means the tissue is getting healthy blood flow, which delivers nutrients to the area. Tooth loss cuts blood flow, and the bone starves and loses mass.
Implants prevent this process from happening. The metal post can stimulate the bone exactly like a natural tooth would. If a patient has already dealt with bone loss, a grating procedure can help address it, after which the dental implant can maintain healthy tissue long-term.
Dental Implant Treatment Process
Here are the steps you’ll go through to get dental implants:
- Screening: A dentist will look at your gums, jaw bone, medical history, and overall oral health to determine if you're a good candidate for the procedure;
- Surgery: If you’re cleared, you’ll be scheduled for the implant surgery, which involves a small incision into your gums and inserting the post into the tooth socket;
- Healing: The bone and gums will fuse to the metal post in around 6 months, in a process called osseointegration;
- Abutment: After the implant fully heals, the dentist adds the abutment and takes a mold of your tooth to create the custom crown. You may get a temporary crown added at this stage.
- Dental crown: It can take an additional 1-2 weeks for the custom crown to be ready. Once it is, the dentist will permanently attach it to the abutment, and the dental implant process is complete.
With the right care, your new implant can last a lifetime. The crown may need updating after 15 years or so, but the abutment and metal post last a lot longer.
Find Out If Implants Are Right for You
Don't wait any longer to reclaim your smile and restore your confidence. Request a visit to Stratford Smiles online or call our office at (203) 375-3068 to schedule your consultation with Dr. Sheng. Take the first step towards a brighter future with dental implants. Your smile deserves it.