Blog - Columbus, OH

Tips, Facts, And The Latest In Dentistry

All You Need to Know About Tooth Implants

Crown of a Tooth Implant in Columbus Ohio

Having a missing tooth is more than a cosmetic problem: it can lead to misalignment in your remaining tooth, hamper your bite, and cause speech problems. Nowadays, patients have many options to recover their full smile, but getting a tooth implant in Columbus, Ohio, remains the most recommended one by professionals.  

Implants work as an exact replica of your natural teeth, which is why they offer more stability and durability than other options. This makes the complex procedure worth it in the end. Nevertheless, if you want to get a better understanding of what that entails, here’s an extensive guide to this reconstructive dentistry practice. 

What is a Tooth Implant in Columbus Ohio

What Is a Dental Implant?

Dental implants are artificial teeth that are surgically implanted into a person’s jaw to restore their chewing ability. Beyond being aesthetically unsightly, missing teeth can lead to further health complications that aren’t as widely known. 

Some of them include rapid bone loss, impaired speech, and changes in chewing patterns that cause discomfort. As a result, implants are restorative surgery that has the potential to significantly improve a patient’s quality of life.  

We say implants are an exact replica of teeth because they are designed to imitate their structure. Teeth consist of a root attached to your jawbone and a visible part, also known as the crown. For an implant, that is divided into:  

  • The screw-like implant, which is surgically inserted into the jawbone to replace the root. This part fuses with your bone, which is why it needs to be made of a biocompatible material like titanium. 
  • The crown, designed to resemble your natural tooth in shape, color, and feel.  
  • The abutment fixation screw, playing as the base of the artificial tooth and allows the crown to attach to the implant. 

Because the implant’s root fuses with your jawbone, these artificial teeth won’t slip, make noise, or cause bone damage. In fact, it does the opposite, stimulating your jawbone. And the materials are resistant to decay, unlike your own teeth, dentures, or bridgework.

Dental Implant Surgery 

Dental implant surgery is the process of replacing a missing tooth’s root with a metal, screw-like post to create an artificial tooth.   

The procedure depends on the type of implant, the materials used, and the condition of your jawbone. Nevertheless, every process is performed in stages, with healing time between each procedure. Some of these steps are:  

  1. Preparations 
  2. Damaged Tooth Removal  
  3. Jawbone Grafting 
  4. Dental Implant Placement  
  5. Waiting for the Osseointegration   
  6. Abutment Placement  
  7. Attaching the Crown  
  8. Recovery

Designing a Tooth Implant in Columbus Ohio

1. Preparations

Dental implants are a complex procedure that takes place on a very important body part, the mouth, so it requires the participation of a variety of specialists. Before even thinking of sitting on the surgery chair, you’ll need to get the green light from: 

  • An oral and maxillofacial surgeon who specializes in the mouth, jaw, and face. 
  • A periodontist expert on issues related to the structures that support the teeth, such as gums and bones. 
  • A prosthodontist who designs and fits artificial teeth. 
  • In some cases, an ENT specialist who treats issues related to the ear, nose, and throat.  

These professionals will make you undergo a thorough evaluation. Some of the procedures they’ll ask for from you are:  

  • A comprehensive dental exam, with dental X-rays and 3D images taken to create a model of your teeth and jaw,  
  • A clinical exam to ensure you’re able to undergo surgery, 
  • Your medical history, including any medications you take and supplements, 
  • Anesthesia options to control pain and instructions on how to act before and after the procedure. 

This will enable them to design a tailored treatment plan for your surgery, including the teeth you need to replace and the condition of your jawbone and remaining teeth.

2. Damaged Tooth Removal

In some cases, the patient’s missing tooth wasn’t removed in its entirety, and remnants of the roots remain. When this happens, it’s necessary to ensure that every piece of the damaged tooth is removed before surgery. 

Luckily, this can be identified easily with an X-ray.

3. Bone Grafting

Depending on the condition of your jawbone, you may need to undergo bone grafting before having dental implant surgery. This procedure adds density to your jaw by adding a material made of processed bone minerals to help your body create new bone cells in that area. 

Bone grafts can be made from your own body, a synthetic bone substitute, or even a donor. They provide a support structure that encourages the body’s bone growth.  

It may take several months for the transplanted bone to develop enough to support a dental implant. However, in some cases, the necessary bone grafting is minor and can be performed during the implant surgery.

4. Placing the Dental Implant

For the implant placement, your oral surgeon cuts your gums to expose the bone. Holes are drilled where the dental implant’s metal post will be placed, with enough depth to ensure its osseointegration. That’s the implant’s fusing with the bone. 

Then, a healing cap is screwed in to prevent bone or gum tissue overgrowth during the 3-month healing process. You can also add a temporary denture over the cap for appearance if needed, but you’ll have to remove it for cleaning and sleeping.

5. Waiting for the Osseointegration

After the implant is placed, it takes 2-3 months for the jawbone to grow into and integrate with the surface of the dental implant. This procedure ensures that implants provide a solid foundation for your new artificial tooth, like the roots of your natural teeth.

6. Placing the Abutment

When the osseointegration is complete, the abutment where the crown will attach must be inserted. This is a minor procedure that can be performed under local anesthesia. 

Your oral surgeon will reopen your gums to expose the dental implant and connect the abutment to the dental implant. Then, the gum tissue is closed around the abutment. After this, your gums must heal for about two weeks before the artificial tooth can be attached.

7. Attaching the Crown

Once your gums have healed, you will take additional impressions of your mouth and remaining teeth to create a realistic-looking artificial crown in a professional laboratory. This can be permanent or removable: 

  • Removable crowns are made of artificial teeth mounted on a metal frame that’s attached to the implant abutment and can be easily removed for repair or daily cleaning. 
  • Fixed crowns are permanently screwed onto the implant abutment.

8. Recovery

Just like with any surgery, you may experience discomfort after a dental implant, such as: 

  • Swelling of the gums and face 
  • Bruising 
  • Pain near the implant site 
  • Minor bleeding 

You must eat soft foods following each surgery to allow the surgical site to heal. Additionally, your dentist may recommend you pain relievers or antibiotics. If the swelling does not go down or the pain worsens in the days following surgery, consult your oral surgeon.

Get a Tooth Implant in Columbus Ohio

Get a Tooth Implant in Columbus, Ohio!

When you’re missing one or more teeth in your mouth, implants are the best solution. Unlike crowns and dentures, they won’t decay, they offer incredible stability, and they are highly long-lasting. Because of that, the struggles of undergoing several surgery stages are often worth it. 

Nevertheless, some patients don’t have bones and gums healthy enough to support an implant first or prefer pursuing other options. No matter the case, consulting with your dental health provider is the best way to make an informed decision on your best treatment options. 

If you’d like to talk with any of the professionals here at Spectrum Dental, give us a call!