Dental implants are a permanent and appealing solution to replace missing or extracted teeth. They may be more appropriate than other alternatives such as bridges, because no additional teeth need to be altered to place the new implant tooth.
The entire implant process is performed over the course of a few months. The first part of the process is to install the implant (screw) into the jaw bone. An incision is made in the gum so that the implant can be inserted. Multiple implants can be placed at once if needed. After the implants are placed, then the gums are sutured and allowed to heal.
The implant must heal for about 3 - 6 months in your bone. During this time, the jaw bone will heal around the implant in a process called osseointegration. While the implant is healing, you can have a temporary restoration so that you can eat and speak normally, and maintain a proper aesthetic appearance for your smile.
After the implant has healed, it is time to place an abutment (post) on the implant. The abutment serves as the base for your new tooth. Once this abutment is placed, an impression of the abutment is taken and is used to create your permanent restoration. Once the crown restoration is made by Dr. Keen in the dental lab, it will be permanently attached and your smile will look just like it used to. In a short period of time, the implant will feel just like one of your own teeth.
Ask Dr. Keen about the technological advancements of dental implants and about his clinical dental implant research and presentations!