A dental implant is a prosthetic device that replaces a missing tooth and looks natural . It serves as an artificial “tooth root” and is broken up into different parts that connect together by the main implant body (screw). Now, you cannot receive an implant with a tooth attached (crown) the same day the implant is placed because it is a very particular process that requires time for the implant to heal before it can be touched to restore. In this way, a dental implant with tooth attachment involves a series of appointments over a period of time to ensure that the implant is strong and healed thoroughly.
First, when the implant is placed, it is drilled and placed directly into the jaw bone. Just like a screw in drywall, if not placed correctly it can wiggle or come out. This is what we do not want to occur with a dental implant, which is why it is left alone for 4-6 months (depending on the doctor’s discretion). This time allows the implant to properly osseointegrate, meaning the implant anchors to the bone. If an implant is suspected to be loose or mobile, this is a key symptom that the implant did not properly osseointegrate. Any excess tampering with the implant at time of placement can cause it not to osseointegrate properly and potentially fail. This would include placing a tooth at the time of implant placement, no excess forces should be done to the implant body. The doctor may place what is called a “healing cap” or “cover screw” that serves as a cover for the implant body so that no bacteria can get inside and the gum tissue will grow over helping to seal the implant with soft tissue.
After the 4-6 month interval, the doctor will ensure that the implant has successfully healed and prepare for the tooth portion of the implant. If osseointegration is deemed successful, the doctor will take impressions or 3D scans of the implant site and remaining teeth so that an abutment and crown can properly attach to the implant body that’s fused directly into the jaw bone. This will allow a laboratory to make the customized tooth for this implant. It should fit alongside the other teeth and look just like a natural tooth!
If you are interested in replacing missing teeth with implants, at River Run Dental Spa we are happy to announce that we do offer implant services in our office! We have excellent doctors who are trained in implant surgery and would be more than happy to provide you with an implant consultation. If you would like to request an appointment or have any questions, please contact us at your convenience! We have locations in Richmond, Midlothian and Short Pump, Virginia.