How Do Dental Implants Work Grand Rapids

If you are missing a tooth, you owe it to yourself to ask your dentist about dental implants. A dental implant is a titanium rod inserted into your jawbone. Once the implant fuses with your jawbone, it functions much like a natural tooth root would to later support an abutment and porcelain crown.

In this blog post, the Grand Rapids dentists at Lake Michigan Dental will explain in more detail how dental implants work so you can make an informed decision for your smile. For more information, we recommend you contact a dental implant dentist near you.

Consultation with Your Dentist

Before scheduling a date for dental implant surgery, your dentist will first need to make sure you are a good candidate. Since the dental implant has to fuse with your jawbone, it’s important that you have healthy jawbone tissue. You’ll also need to have a strong immune system, as well as healthy gums and surrounding teeth.

Dental Implant Surgery

During the dental implant procedure, your dentist will cut your gum down to the jawbone before drilling holes for the implant. If your jawbone tissue is too soft or thin, you may need a bone graft prior to dental implant surgery so the implant has a solid foundation. Bone grafts for dental implants are usually taken from the jaw or other part of your body. It’s important that the implant be inserted into strong bone tissue to prevent the procedure from failing.

Recovery from Surgery

It can take about 6 months (or more) for your dental implant to fuse to your jawbone in a process called osseointegration. Keep in mind that implants inserted into the upper jaw will need more time to heal than those inserted into the lower jaw.

Abutment and Crown Placement

Once your jawbone has healed properly, you’ll need to have an abutment and crown placed over your implant. While it’s possible to attach the abutment to the implant during your first surgery, some people don’t like the way it juts over the gum line and choose to attach it later.

Once the jawbone has healed and the abutment is attached, you’ll be ready for the dental implant crown. The dental crown is what gives you the look and function of a natural tooth. Your implant dentist will make sure that the color of your new false tooth matches surrounding teeth for a beautiful smile.

Many patients appreciate the look and feel they get with dental implants. Unlike other dental restorations, like bridges, dental implants don’t need to be replaced and will last you for a lifetime. While dental bridges last between 5 and 7 years, dental implants last for decades. Since a dental implant acts like a natural tooth root would to support an abutment and crown, you can also continue to eat your favorite foods while talking and smiling with confidence.

The Grand Rapids dental implant dentists at Lake Michigan Dental are dedicated to helping you restore your smile after tooth loss. If you are interested in learning if you are a candidate for dental implants, schedule your consultation with us today at (616) 453-8211.