The implant fixture is the actual implant itself; it is a small titanium screw that is designed to be quickly and efficiently placed directly into the bone. The fixture takes the place of the natural tooth roots, providing the structure for the overall prosthetic. After the fixture is placed into the bone, it is given time to heal and achieve osseointegration, a process in which the natural bone fuses to the implant.
The implant abutment is used as a connector between the fixture and the prosthesis, which is the part of the implant that will rest above the gums and will be visible in the patient’s smile line.
The abutment screws directly into the center of the implant fixture and connects the fixture with the prosthesis. In some cases - such as when the tooth is towards the front of the mouth and will be highly visible - the abutment will be tooth colored in order to ensure that it will be harder to detect. In other cases, the implant abutment will simply be fabricated from metal.
The implant prosthesis is essentially the “tooth” part of a dental implant. In most cases, the implant prosthesis is a dental crown that is crafted to match the size, shape and color of the rest of the teeth in the mouth; it will be almost impossible to discern the implant tooth from the natural teeth.
The implant prosthesis is connected to the implant abutment, completing the implant placement process. The patient can rely on their new implant tooth to function and look exactly as their natural teeth do.
Overall, the implant placement process can take anywhere between six and twelve months, depending on how long it takes for the patient to heal. The process is lengthy, but many patients feel that it is worth the wait, as the end result is superior to any other treatment option.
The newly-placed dental implant is permanent; if properly cared for with thorough home care and regular in-office visits, dental implants have the potential to last an entire lifetime. The dental crown that is placed over top of the implant is likely to last 10-15 years on average; after this amount of time has passed, most dentists will evaluate the integrity of the crown in order to determine if a new one is needed.
Dental Implants in San Jose
Here at Willow Glen Dental Specialists, we offer comprehensive dental implant placement services in San Jose, California.
We will help you determine if you are a good candidate for implants by conducting a thorough examination of the bone density in the mouth.
To learn more about dental implants or to get scheduled for an implant consultation in San Jose, give us a call anytime at 408-478-9081.
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