Dental implants are a long-lasting option for replacing missing or extracted teeth. Dental implants can be used to replace one tooth or many, depending on each patient’s needs. Dental implants are placed in the jaw bone for a secure hold so patients lacking sufficient bone are not good candidates for dental implants. A dentist can determine if you have enough bone for placing a dental implant. Dr. Ken Yasuhara is your dentist for dental implants in Honolulu.
Dental Implant Parts
Dental implants are comprised of three main parts. The portion of a dental implant that is placed in the jaw bone looks like a small screw and is referred to as the implant. This piece is usually made of titanium, which is a strong, durable, and hypoallergenic metal. The implant functions like the root portion of a natural tooth by holding an artificial tooth in place.
Another main part of a dental implant is the implant crown, which is the artificial tooth. The implant crown looks just like a natural tooth and is custom made for the most natural look and best fit possible. The third part of a dental implant is the abutment, which connects the implant and crown together. The abutment is screwed onto the implant and the crown is attached to the abutment. The implant crown is the only portion of a dental implant that is visible once all parts have been put in place.
Procedure for Placing Dental Implants
The metal implant portion of a dental implant is placed into the jaw bone through a minor surgical procedure that usually only requires local anesthesia. After the metal implant is placed in the bone, the area is given time to heal before placing the implant crown. As the surgical site heals, another process known as osseointegration naturally begins. Osseointegration refers to the natural process of the metal implant and bone fusing together over time. Within a few weeks, the crown can be placed over the implant permanently.
To be a candidate for dental implants, patients must have enough bone in the jaw area to support the placement of a dental implant. Bone in the jaw area naturally begins deteriorating when teeth are missing so if teeth have been missing for an extended period of time there is not always enough bone left to support a dental implant. Your dentist in Honolulu can determine if you have enough bone by reviewing an x-ray image of your jaw bone.
Dental implants are a durable long-lasting option for restoring your smile, whether you are missing one tooth or multiple teeth. For dental implants in Honolulu, HI, schedule an appointment with Dr. Yasuhara by calling (808) 947-8900.