One of the many treatments we have for missing teeth is implants. An implant consists of two parts: first is the piece that heals in the bone and acts like the root of a tooth (implant fixture); the second part is the piece that attaches to the implant fixture and replaces the chewing part of the tooth (implant crown). Because implant placement requires surgery where the implant fixture is placed in the bone to heal, many people become nervous that the procedure will be painful and uncomfortable. But with modern freezing techniques the entire procedure is virtually painless!
Implants tend to be our longest lasting treatment for the replacement of missing teeth. With proper placement and patient care, an implant can easily last a patient’s entire lifetime. So even though they are usually the most expensive procedure, over the long term they actually tend to become one of the least expensive options.
The majority of implant fixtures (the root of the implant) are made of a biocompatible titanium, which means the body responds very well to it. Most implant crowns are made of zirconia which is a white material that is stronger than metal and can be dyed to match the other teeth in your mouth
Depending on if the implant was placed in the top (maxilla) or bottom (mandible) jaw will determine the length of healing that is required before the implant crown can be added. An implant placed in the maxilla usually needs 4-6 months to heal before a crown can be placed, whereas an implant placed in the mandible usually requires only 3-4 months. During this waiting period the titanium fixture that was placed into the bone begins to integrate with the bone. The bone grows in and around the implant and enables the implant to eventually be strong enough for you to chew on.
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