Our dentists at Guildford Dental in Surrey use dental implants to restore a natural appearance and function to many of our patient's smiles. If you are considering dental implants to replace your missing teeth, here is a little about what dental implants are and how the implant process works.
Are dental implants for you?
Many of our patients find that dental implants are an ideal way to replace missing teeth and restore function to their smile. If you are considering dental implants to replace your missing teeth it's important to understand exactly what dental implants are, and how the implant process works.
What are the parts of a dental implant?
Although all 3 parts of the dental implant are collectively known as 'a dental implant', the actual implant portion is a tiny titanium screw which your dentist will surgically place in your jaw in the spot where the root of the missing tooth once was. This screw forms a 'root' or stable base to which an artificial tooth can be attached. Once the implant site has had ample time to heal the screw will be integrated with your jaw bone and form a strong permanent base for your artificial tooth (restoration).
It's important to understand that the dental implant process can be long. Healing after implant placement surgery typically takes 4-6 months. When your mouth has completely healed the next step in the dental implant process can begin.
The AbutmentThe second step in the dental implant process is to have an abutment attached to the implant. An abutment is a connector which is usually made from titanium or a ceramic material, and secures the restoration to the dental implant.
The RestorationAfter allowing sufficient time for your mouth to heal, the restoration can be attached to the abutment. A restoration can be a single artificial tooth, or multiple artificial teeth in the form of a bridge or an implant supported denture.
- If a patient is replacing a single tooth a dental crown can be used. A dental crown can be screwed or cemented to the abutment to create an artificial tooth which will look and function almost exactly like a natural tooth. Dental crowns can be made from a mixture of metal and porcelain, or ceramic.
- A dental bridge is typically made from porcelain and can be used to replace a number of missing teeth in a row. A bridge can be attached to just two implants which hold it securely in place.
- Implant supported dentures can be used if you are replacing a full jaw of teeth. Implant supported dentures are typically made with either acrylic resin or porcelain teeth. Unlike conventional dentures, implant supported dentures are permanently secured to dental implants to create a secure and natural looking tooth replacement.