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Pictorial Step by Step Guide to Implants

Single tooth replacement

Dental implant treatment involves several steps.

The first step is to insert the dental implant into the jawbone. Following insertion, the implant is left for 2 to 6 months whilst osseointegration takes place. Osseointegration is the process whereby the jawbone grows around and integrates with the implant.

The second step involves the placement of the crown on the implant. This is carried out by a Restorative Dentist once osseointegration has taken place.

Sometimes for some patients, a preliminary step of augmentation is required to increase the amount of jawbone to permit implant placement. Augmentation uses artificial bone (Bio-oss) or less commonly the patients own bone taken from the opposite jaw or hipbone.

Below are a series of images and descriptions to show you the process and to give you a better understanding of the use of an implant in single tooth replacement.

Missing upper central incisor (front tooth).1 This image (left) shows the typical problem of a missing single tooth. The missing tooth shown here is the upper right central incisor but it could be any tooth in either the top jaw (Maxilla) or the bottom jaw (Mandible).

Implant inserted showing healing abutment through a plastic model.Detail of a healing abutment.2 The dental implant has been inserted into the jaw bone and can be seen quite clearly through the plastic model. You can also see the roots of the surrounding teeth as they would appear in the jaw bone. Notice how the implant mimics the root in position, length and shape.
These implants are inserted and left to heal for a period of 2 to 6 months.
Notice that sticking out from above the implant (out of the gum) is a temporary attachment that is screwed into the implant. These are called healing abutments (see picture right) and they also come in differing lengths. They help the gum to heal around the top of the implant.
It is possible in most cases to continue to wear a denture while healing takes place but it may have to be modified to fit around the temporary healing abutment.

The competed crown fitted to the dental implant.3 Here is the crown fitted to the dental implant which is carried out by a restorative dentist. This is performed 2 to 6 months after the implant has been placed into the jaw bone.
The crown is fitted into place and cannot be removed by the patient. This is then treated the same as the rest of your teeth when it comes to oral health issues.

Model showing completed crown and implant with gum removed.4 Model showing completed implant and crown with the gum removed.

We hope that this brief step by step guide has been of some help to you. If you should require any further advice or help then please make arrangements to talk it over with Mr Smith. His contact details can be found by clicking here.