Dental implants are metal posts or frames that are surgically positioned into the jawbone beneath your gums. Once in place, they allow replacement teeth to be mounted onto them. A dental implant can do wonders for self-esteem, because it feels and looks like a normal tooth. Many people who were shy about smiling because of a space from a lost tooth feel more comfortable after a dental implant. Beyond the aesthetics, a dental implant also makes it easier to eat and speak, because a titanium post secured directly in the jaw holds the implant in place.
Placing a dental implant is generally is a two-part process that takes several months:
In the first step, an implant is surgically placed in the jaw, with the top of the implant slightly above the top of the bone. A screw is inserted into the implant to prevent gum tissue and other debris from entering. The gum then is secured over the implant. The implant will remain covered for approximately three to six months while it fuses with the bone, a process called “osseointegration.”
In the second step, Dr. Straka makes a crown, which has a size, shape, color and fit that will blend with your other teeth. Once completed, the crown is attached to the implant post.
Maintaining your implants is very important for success. Implants can develop gingivitis and bone loss just like natural teeth, so they need to be flossed and brushed like natural teeth.