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Innovations in Tooth Implants

Innovations in Tooth Implants


Dentistry practices have advanced significantly over the past few decades. From teeth cleaning to pain management, going to the dentist is no longer a worrisome chore, but part of our everyday health routine. With a dentist’s guidance, patients are taking better care of their teeth than ever before. However, occasionally, circumstances can cause teeth to come out, perhaps because of an injury, disease or decay. Removable dentures or tooth bridges can be options, but the preferred option is a tooth implant.



Dental Implants Explained


A dental implant is a titanium post implanted in the jawbone, replacing the natural root. Over time, the bone grows around the post, making it strong enough to withstand the pressure of chewing. During the treatment process, an extension or abutment is attached to the post. This holds the crown, or replacement tooth, which has been individually built for the patients mouth, designed to naturally fit in with the surrounding teeth. Implants can also be an anchor for a bridge or denture.



Advances in Implant Procedures


Occasionally, the patient will not have enough bone density or depth to implant the post. In these cases, a dental surgeon can build up the existing bone with a grafting procedure. Once the bone has been built back up, the titanium post is implanted. The bone will then grow and fuse with the post for a period of three to six months before the final crown is attached. Previously, during this time, patients would have to wear a removable denture, which can be uncomfortable and cause difficulty eating and speaking. However, now many dental surgeons offer a service known as "Teeth in Day”



Teeth in a Day


Because of technical advances in dental surgery, the process of removing a tooth and inserting the implant can often be done in the same day. Then, instead of having an unsightly gap or wearing an uncomfortable removable denture, temporary teeth can be fabricated and attached to the implants during the same process. 



What to Expect After Surgery


According to the Mayo Clinic, whether the implant process takes place in one or multiple stages, patients may feel some natural discomfort:

  • Swelling of gums and/or face
  • Bruising
  • Pain where post has been implanted
  • Small amount of bleeding

If any of these conditions persist or get worse, the patient should contact their dental surgeon.



Where to Have the Implant Procedure


It’s important to find an expert dental surgeon, one that specializes in implants, rather than a general dentist who occasionally performs implants. Look for a clinic that can perform the steps of a successful implant process all in one location, from assessment and surgery through to the final tooth reconstruction phase. The dentist should be certified by the American Board of Oral Implantology (ABOI). Diplomate designation from this board certifies the dental implantologist has "demonstrated knowledge, ability, and proficiency in the implant dentistry through a rigorous examination process.”


Dental practices have come a long way in the past twenty years. A properly executed tooth implant is the next best thing to having a solid, healthy tooth. And that’s something to smile about.