Dental implants are a permanent and appealing solution to replace missing or extracted teeth. They are better than other alternatives like bridges because no additional teeth need to be altered to place the new tooth.
Keeping individual teeth makes it easier to keep teeth clean. If a problem should arise in the future with a tooth it will be a one-tooth problem rather than having multiple teeth attached.
The process of replacing a missing tooth with an implant-supported crown normally takes 12 to 14 weeks. The first part of the process involves placing the implant. In our office this is usually done in a short appointment using a soft tissue laser to create access to the implant site. The laser minimizes postoperative discomfort. The implant is placed in bone and sealed with a healing abutment to help form the proper soft tissue contour for the crown.
It normally takes 10 to 12 weeks for the bone to permanently attach to the implant, a process called osseo-integration. During the osseo-integration period a temporary crown may be used to fill the space.
When the implant is integrated, a crown is fabricated to attach to the implant to replace the missing tooth. Implant-supported crowns look and feel like natural teeth, restoring your ability to smile, speak and chew normally.
The implant restored tooth also helps prevent undesirable shifting of adjacent teeth and over eruption of opposing teeth and prevents the loss of bone in the jaws that normally follows tooth loss.