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What Is Implant Dentistry?

When you think about a trip to the dentist, what do you imagine? A dental hygienist getting those teeth squeaky clean, checking for any oral diseases or cavities, taking x-rays, or prepping for the dentist himself to come insert a filling? While those are the most common encounters with the dentist, their job description doesn’t stop there. Many dentists are trained to perform a number of restorative and reparative procedures, including inserting crowns, repairing chipped teeth, and inserting dental implants.

What Are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are essentially artificial tooth roots that are then the foundation for a replacement tooth or teeth. There are two basic types of dental implants:
Endosteal Implants (as pictured) – These implants are the most common and are inserted directly into the jawbone. They are made from titanium, a non-toxic metal alloy that is not rejected by the body. This allows it to fuse to the jawbone over time, letting the implants last for over 30 years! It also provides great strength to the artificial tooth root, increasing the ability for the false tooth to function the same as a natural tooth.
Subperiosteal Implants- This type of dental implant is far less common than the endosteal implants. This procedure places a metallic alloy frame over the jawbone. Posts are then attached to the frame and are raised above the gum. The replacement tooth is then attached to the post. This option is used for patients who are missing more than one tooth or there has been enough deterioration of the bone that it cannot support an endosteal implant.

What Do The Procedures Entail?

Because these procedures are a surgical procedure, patients do receive local anesthesia or a sedative. It is important to note that both implant procedure methods are done in phases or stages. It will not be a one-time visit to the dentist or oral surgeon to get these implants. The first phase will be the surgical procedure where the implant is secured into your jawbone. If you are receiving a subperiosteal implant, you may have an earlier stage where your jawbone is x-rayed and a mold is taken to create the metal frame. The second stage is when the actual artificial tooth or crown is placed on the implant. In between these stages, the mouth will need to heal and allow for some fusing of the bone and implant to take place. As with any surgical procedure, each case is different; a consultation with an Alpharetta professional implant dentist will be necessary in determining your specific course of action.
If you feel that you may be a candidate or would like to pursue this course of action for a missing tooth, a general dentist may be your first stop. If this procedure is deemed appropriate, they will either refer you to a specialist or schedule the procedure to be done by themselves. Alpharetta professional implant dentistry offers general and cosmetic dental experts that can give you a strong, reliable solution to any dental problems.