Placing and restoring dental implants is split up into three stages. The first stage is performed by an oral surgeon who surgically inserts the implant post or posts into the jawbone. During the second stage, the jawbone is left to heal and fuse together with the implant post. This stage, called osseointegration, takes approximately three to six months to complete and is crucial to ensure a stable foundation for the artificial tooth or teeth that will be placed on top of the post.
Once the post and jawbone have fused together properly, the third restorative phase occurs. During implant restoration, Dr. Spaniel will cover the top of the implant post with a connector piece (or abutment) and place the artificial tooth on top. The artificial tooth is crafted to resemble the surrounding teeth in color, shape and size. The dentist will check your bite to ensure a perfect fit. Any last-minute adjustments to the restoration will be made before it is buffed and polished for a seamless and beautiful look.
Dental implants can last for many years, but good oral hygiene is crucial. In fact, not brushing and flossing properly is a leading cause of implant failure. Bad lifestyle habits such as smoking can also lead to complications with dental implants. Routine checkups with Dr. Spaniel are important so she can make sure your implants are functioning properly.