Dental implants are a permanent and appealing solution to replace missing or extracted teeth. They are far better than other alternatives like bridges, because no additional teeth need to be altered to place the new tooth.
The entire implant process is performed over the course of a few months. The first part of the process is to place the implant itself, which means that a screw is placed into the jaw bone. An incision is made in the gum tissue so that the implant can be inserted. Multiple implants can be placed at one visit if necessary. After the implants are placed, the gums are sutured.
The implant must be allowed to heal for about 3-6 months. During this time, the jaw bone will form around the implant in a process called osseointegration. During this healing period, you can have a temporary appliance made so that you can eat and speak normally. This will also allow you to maintain the aesthetic appearance of your smile.
After the implant has healed, an abutment is placed on the implant. The abutment serves as the base for your new tooth. Once it has been placed, an impression of the abutment is taken to send to the lab so that they can create your customized restoration. After the lab returns it, you will come back to the office to attach the restoration permanently. Your smile will look just like it used to, and after a short period of getting used to the implant, it will feel just like one of your own teeth.