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Understanding the Dental Implant Process

If you have gaps in your smile, your Pittsburgh, PA, dentist, Dr. John Sartorio, can help you improve your appearance with dental implants. Implants make it possible to recreate your missing tooth from top to bottom.

What are dental implants?

Implants replace your missing tooth roots with small titanium posts. Titanium is a lightweight metal that bonds to bone, making it an excellent choice for your replacement roots. As soon as bonding occurs, a dental crown is attached to the top of the implant to complete the restoration of your tooth. Implants can be used to replace any number of missing teeth.

What happens when you receive a dental implant?

During your first appointment at the Pittsburgh dental office, your dentist will determine if you are a good candidate for a dental implant. Implants may be right for you if you're in good oral and general health, don't smoke, and don't have an immune system condition or take medications that suppress your immune system.

Your dentist will also check the depth of your jawbone before recommending dental implants. If your jawbone is too shallow to support an implant, he may recommend bone grafts to build up the bone before your implant procedure. Bone grafts may add two to three months to the implant timeline.

The implant process starts with a minor oral surgical procedure. During the procedure, your dentist opens your jawbone, places the implant, and covers it with gum tissue. If you will be receiving implant-supported dentures, four or more implants will be needed to support an upper or lower denture.

Implant bonding may take up to six months. This is a crucial step in the process, as strong roots are essential for biting and chewing.

When bonding is complete, your dentist will add a connector called an abutment to your dental implant and make an impression of your mouth. The impression is used to create the dental crown that will be added to the top of the implant.

Connecting your dental implant to your crown is the final step in the process. Just a few weeks after your impression appointment, you'll return to the office for the addition of your crown. Once both parts of your new tooth are connected, you'll be able to bite and chew both soft and hard foods with ease.

Are you ready to fill the gaps in your smile with dental implants? Call your dentist in Pittsburgh, PA, Dr. John Sartorio, at (412) 831-8700 to schedule your appointment.

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