Dental implants are a way your doctor can replace missing teeth and repair damaged teeth. They are also used as abutments for complete or partial dentures. Our doctors work in tandem with our oral surgeon so that you can get your new implants right here in our office. This helps maintain the high level of care you’ve come to expect from Smith and Cole Dentistry in Austin. Your new implant will look and feel just like your natural teeth.
Placement of implants takes several months and several appointments. The reason for this is because after each step you will need time to heal. An implant is made up of three key elements: the cylinder or post which is implanted into your jaw (this cylinder replaces the root of your tooth), the post extension or abutment which is screwed or placed onto the post, and the crown which is placed onto the abutment. Together these elements create a strong and natural looking replacement for your tooth, and with proper care will last for many years.
Placement of an implant takes several visits and you will need time to heal between each visit. At the first visit the oral surgeon will talk to you about your general health and any medication you are taking. He will examine your mouth and jaw and determine if you need a bone graft. If your jawbone is too thin or brittle it will not be able to support the implant. Bone from another part of your body (usually your thigh) is grafted onto your jawbone and left to ossify, or heal.
Once you have healed from the bone graft the oral surgeon will place the post into your jaw. It may take several months to heal from this procedure. The next step is to place the abutment. The abutment extends the post. In some cases, you may be able to receive the abutment the same day you receive the post.
At the next visit the oral surgeon will take molds of your teeth and jawbone so they can be sent to the lab for the fabrication of your new crown. He may place a temporary crown while you wait for your permeant crown. When the new crown arrives from the lab you will come in and the doctor will place it onto the abutment and you will have a brand-new tooth that feels and looks just like your natural teeth.
Caring for Your New Implant
You may have some tenderness and pain after the placement of your crown, but these symptoms should go away in a few days. If you experience a lot of pain or fever, be sure to contact the doctor. Care for your new implant just like you do your natural teeth. Brush, floss, and keep up on your regular checkups and your new implant will last for several years.
If you have a damaged or missing tooth, call or contact Smith and Cole Dentistry today and ask about dental implant options.