Dental implants and implantology is the implantation of artifical tooth roots made of 100% titanium. They are an almost perfect replacement for your own tooth roots and serve as a foundation for repairs and replacements above the gum layer such as crowns, bridges or dentures.
A tooth gap is usually the result of a missing tooth do to extreme dental caries (decay) or something that happened to the root making it necessary to pull the tooth. This was traditionally treated by removing enamel from the neighboring teeth to attach a bridge filling the gap. This is very damaging for the neighboring teeth which lose about 50% of their enamel.
Sensitivity and risk of disease for the neighboring increase by 150% as the loss of enamel leaves parts of the tooth exposed and the increased burden of supporting the bridge during chewing.
In addition to these technical problems, cosmetic results of a bridge are not always pleasing especially after two years when the bone and gums degrade in the area around the gap.
An implant is the best, most modern and gentlest treatment for gaps. After the diseased tooth is removed and the periodontal membrane in the area cleaned, the area is left to heal for twelve to fifteen weeks, until the area ossifies naturally.
After ossification a fitted implant is then set in place under local anesthesia. General anesthesia is available for more sensitive patients. The implant is then left to heal for three to six weeks depending on whether the implant is in the upper or lower jaw.
During this period, bone cells fuse to the porus surface of the implant to ensure 100% stability between the implant and bone. The implant has an inner thread that is then used to insert a screw (abutment). In order to keep bone and connective tissue from growing over or into the implant the abutment is replaced with a larger one with a collar three to six weeks later depending again on whether it is in the upper or lower jaw. This also ensures that the gums grow around the implant in a circle. This larger abutment must stay in place for ten days during which a crown is made using a mold of the area.