Even though your dentist may have recommended a dental implant, you may be unfamiliar with the device and its application. As a result, you may feel unsure about having an implant procedure. Nevertheless, implant dentists perform many implant surgeries each year without complications.
Here is a bit of information about dental implants and their placement.
What Type of Device Is an Implant?
A dental implant is a titanium metal device that is shaped like a screw or small rod. It is used as a prosthetic replacement for the roots of a tooth.
How Does a Dentist Apply a Dental Implant?
A dentist applies a dental implant using an in-office surgical procedure. They use a scalpel or other sharp dental tool to make a small incision into the gums at the site of the implant's placement. The implant is then inserted through the incision into the bone of the jaw.
How Long Does It Take for an Implant Wound to Heal?
After an implant is placed in the jawbone, the resulting wound must heal before the implant is ready to encounter the pressure associated with mastication. The healing of the wound requires a few months.
After the healing period, the implant is integrated with the bone of the jaw, stabilizing it and securing the implant in the mouth. The process of the fusion of the implant with the bone is called osseointegration.
What Can Prevent the Implant Wound From Healing?
There are conditions that may prevent an implant wound from healing as quickly or effectively as it should. Here are a few of them:
- Gum disease. Inflamed gingival tissues can halt the healing process. The inflammation may be due to a condition called periimplantitis, in which the gums around an implant become inflamed as plaque and bacteria are trapped in the tissues' folds. Also, periodontitis, a serious type of gum disease, may cause problems with the implant wound's healing.
- Smoking. The soft tissues in a smoker's mouth may receive less oxygen and suffer more inflammation due to the chemicals in tobacco. The implant wound requires oxygen to heal properly.
- Blood sugar instability. Fluctuations in the patient's blood sugar levels can increase bacterial counts in the mouth and negatively influence the ability of the soft tissues to heal.
If a problem with an implant wound arises, the dentist can often treat it to still permit the success of the dental implant.
To learn more about dental implants, schedule a consultation with a dentist in your local area.