A dental implant is an artificial root – an implant made of titanium, the size of which is of that of the natural root. This is the base on which an artificial tooth, hence a crown is placed. However, the number of placed implants must not always match the number of missing teeth. Multiple implants may be placed and constitute support for all missing teeth.
Implant Placement STAGE ONE
The first stage is a surgical procedure that involves placing an implant in the bone (more specifically in the alveolar process).
Computed tomography is performed prior to the implant placement procedure. This is the basis for the dentist to determine whether the quantity of bone tissue is sufficient to introduce the implant. If it is found that there was bone loss due to the extraction of the tooth and the root, the dentist may decide to perform guided bone regeneration (bone augmentation), which is a surgical procedure involving the formation of the required quantity of bone tissue for future dental implants. Implant placement is performed under local anesthesia. The procedure is painless and takes from 30 minutes to 2 hours (depending on the number of implants).
Following implant placement, the dentist makes sure that its position is stable and sutures the wound. After the procedure is completed, the implant is not visible in the mouth.
During the healing period, the process of osteointegration takes place. This is direct bonding of the artificial root with the bone, which takes approx. 3 months (for implants in the mandible), or 4 months (for implants in the maxilla). This difference is due to the different structure of the maxilla and the mandible. In the osteointegration process, the oxygen contained in the bone tissue forms a layer of titanium dioxide on the implant surface. Subsequently, new bone tissue is formed on this layer, which is the proper substrate for implant placement. Owing to this process, the implant is not treated as a foreign body that must be rejected, but as an integral part of the bone.
Implant Placement STAGE TWO
The second stage involves exposing the implant and placing a healing screw, aimed at accelerating the healing process of the mucous membrane in the direct vicinity of the implant, as well as modeling the shape of the gingiva for a future dental crown. Prosthetic restoration can be performed after the regeneration period, which lasts 14 days.
Implant Placement STAGE THREE
The third stage involves dental impressions and placing an artificial tooth.
During the first visit, the dentist takes dental impressions and decides with the patient on the color of the future crown. Subsequently, based on the dental impression, two components are made needed for the dentist to complete the final stage of implant placement: the abutment, that is a prosthetic pillar, to which the crown is attached.
During the last visit, the dentist fixes the abutment to the implant. After making sure that the connection between the abutment and the implant is stable, the dentist attaches the dental crown.