When you are missing a tooth or multiple teeth, it can result in a number of different dental health problems as well as issues with overall dental aesthetics. Thankfully there are dental appliances that can restore the appearance and function of a smile, such as dental bridges and dentures. These removable dental appliances can actually be anchored into place thanks to dental implants.
There is a healing process involved with dental implants, however, which patients should be aware of. Our Nashville, Brentwood cosmetic dentist and the team here would like to look briefly at the dental implants treatment process so you know what to expect.
About Dental Implants
Dental implants are artificial tooth roots that are surgically planted in the jawbone and soft tissues of a patient's mouth. They provide an extremely secure hold of the dental appliances, allowing for maximum security and function of a patient's dental bridge or denture. We are pleased to offer this treatment at our cosmetic dentistry practice in Nashville.
Ideal Candidates for Dental Implants
The best candidates for dental implants are patients who are missing a tooth or multiple teeth but are in otherwise good dental health. These patients should have sufficient gum tissue and jawbone density in place to support the dental implants. If not, additional surgeries may be required for candidacy. (More on that in a bit.)
The entire dental implant treatment timeline will require several months, and the periods may vary for each patient. Below are some general timeframes that patients experience.
The Oral Surgery to Place the Dental Implants
The first step of the dental implants procedure is to place the Nashville, Brentwood dental implants themselves. During this oral surgery, the surgeon will make incisions into the gum tissue where the tooth gap is located and anchor the dental implant(s) in place directly into the bone.
The Healing Period - Osseointegration
The longest phase of the dental implants process is the healing period. During this phase, a process known as osseointegration must take place. This means that the dental implant will merge with the gum tissue and the bone tissue, effectively becoming part of the patient's jawbone and gumline. This can take six months or more depending on the location of the dental implant and other factors. You will return to our restorative dentistry center periodically in order for use to monitor your progress.
Placement of the Dental Restoration
Once the dental implant has successfully integrated with the patient's hard and soft tissues, the final dental appliance can be crafted. Whether it's a dental bridge, a denture, or a dental crown, we will make sure that it is perfectly matched with your existing teeth in terms of color and contour.
Additional Oral Surgeries for Certain Patients
If a patient is not a good candidate for dental implants due to insufficient gum tissue or jawbone density, additional surgeries can be performed prior to the implant placement in order to make a patient a good candidate for surgery. These bone grafting and gum grafting surgeries will add a few extra months to the overall treatment process.
Learn More About Advanced Dental Care Solutions
For more information about advanced treatments for various dental health problems, be sure to contact our Nashville cosmetic and restorative dentistry center today. The entire team looks forward to your visit.