People can find themselves missing one, a few, or all of their teeth for many reasons. Dental implants can take over all the functions of your missing teeth and last a lifetime. Whether you want to replace a few missing teeth or use implants to anchor your dentures for a better fit, dental implant technology offers new options for those with lost teeth.
What are Dental Implants?
The foundation of a dental implant is a titanium screw inserted into the jawbone. Titanium has the unusual ability to bond with the bone, making it the material of choice for many implants. The screws will become firmly attached to the jawbone, allowing Dr. Sonneveld to place crowns over them and restore the look and function of natural teeth.
How Long Does a Dental Implant Take?
A dental implant requires a multi-step process with healing stages between each step. You can expect functional implants with crowns to take several months. Individual characteristics such as bone density and healing speed will affect this timeline.
Implant placement typically takes one to two hours. Dr. Sonneveld will make a small incision and place the titanium implants in your jawbone. He will then use a cap or temporary denture to protect the implant while it heals.
During this phase, osteointegration bonds the bone and titanium implant together. This process creates such a solid attachment that the implant can stay in place for a lifetime. This vital step takes several months.
Once the bone has healed, Dr. Sonneveld places a small metal post called an abutment on each implant. This abutment holds the crown, the visible and functional part of the implant.
A dental crown may be attached to the abutment with adhesive or welded in place. Crowns typically wear out after fifteen to twenty years and can be replaced in a quick office visit.
Other factors can affect how long your implants will take. You may need a bone graft if your bone is not strong enough to hold the implant. The bone will take three to four months to become solid enough to place your implants.
How Many Teeth Can I Replace With Dental Implants?
You can use dental implants to replace anywhere from one tooth to all your teeth. However, replacing an entire set of teeth with dental implants may be cost-prohibitive, although it is permanent. Other options include carefully placed implants to anchor a denture or bridge, greatly improving its stability and function.
Am I a Good Candidate for Dental Implants?
Dr. Sonneveld can work with most people to make dental implants a reasonable goal. Most people make good candidates for dental implants. However, some people may need a bone graft or other treatment to prepare them before they can have implants.
Take the Next Step
If you have further questions about dental implants, we encourage you to schedule a consultation at Faces Fort Worth. Call us at (817) 927-1818 or fill out our online contact form. We look forward to taking care of you.