What are "dental implants"?
Dental implants are usually made from titanium, just as other metal inserts in the
rest of your body are made out of titanium. Dental implants are used to replace
the roots of the teeth that are missing. On these dental implants, after they've
adhered to the bone, we can then screw in what looks like a ground-down tooth, or
what we call an abutment. On that abutment, a crown can be placed.
Who can get dental implants?
In order to place a dental implant, the surgeon must first expose the bone. Then
a small hole is drilled in the area that the dental implant is going to be placed,
and then successively larger drill bits are used until we get to about the size
of the implant. Once the hole is prepared, the dental implant is screwed down into
the area and then covered with the gum and left to heal for three to four months,
depending upon whether it is in the lower jaw taking three months, or the upper
jaw taking four months . If bone needs to be added, it sometimes will take a little
longer. After the dental implant has integrated to the bone, and what we mean by
that is the bone has grown up around the dental implant and sometimes gone into
little crevices in the dental implant so that it is very solidly in the bone, the
dental implant is uncovered. Then an abutment is screwed in there, and the abutment
will vary again depending upon what is going to be placed there. The abutment can
be titanium or it can also be zirconium, which is white if we're going to be in
an aesthetic area.