If you have lost one or more of your teeth, dental implants can be a comfortable and natural-looking solution. Implants require less special care than dentures and don’t put your neighboring teeth at risk the way that dental bridges can. Your dentist will determine if you are a candidate for dental implants by considering a number of factors, including whether you have sufficient jaw bone to support each implant. If your dentist has scheduled you for dental implants in San Jose, here is a look at what you can expect at your appointments.
After your dentist has decided that dental implants are right for you, you can begin the three-step process of having them placed. During the first procedure, your dentist will create a small opening in the gums and place a small, titanium screw in your jaw. The screw will be the anchor for your implant. If you are getting multiple implants, your dentist will repeat this process in each treatment area. After the screws are placed, you will need to allow your gums and jaw to heal for four to six months—during this time, the screws will fuse with your jaw bone in a process called osseointegration.
Once osseointegration has occurred, your dentist will attach an abutment to each of the screws. The abutment is the bridge between the anchor screw and the crown portion of your implant. During this procedure, your gums will need to be opened again to expose the tops of the screws. At this point, your dentist may also order your crowns, which will be the same size, shape, and shade as your natural teeth.
This appointment takes place a few weeks after the abutments are attached. During this visit, the crowns are attached to the abutments, and the treatment process is completed. Once your implants in place, you can treat them just as you would your natural teeth. You can brush and floss as normal, and it is not necessary to adjust your diet.