Dental Implant Temporary Tooth
If you have been thinking about getting a dental implant placed but are concerned about your appearance while waiting for the implant to finish healing, please know there are several available options to ensure you avoid having a toothless smile. To learn more, please refer to the following.
What Steps Are Involved in the Dental Implant Process?
The process of getting dental implants placed requires multiple steps that will take place over several months or even over one year. The first part of the dental implant process is the evaluative process, during which your periodontist will review your medical and oral health history, perform a thorough evaluation of your current oral health, determine the underling reason why dental implants are necessary and identify and treat any additional underlying issues that need to be addressed to ensure your dental implant procedure is successful.
Following this, the next stage of the dental implant procedure will involve placement of the titanium posts, which will be inserted into your jawbone and will act as the roots of your new replacement teeth. Following this, your periodontist will place a temporary tooth over the implant to restore your full smile while the post fuses with the jawbone, which will take several months to complete. Once the osseointegration process is complete, you will return for your final visit, during which your permanent crown will be secured.
There are several different options for your temporary tooth during this initial healing period. Which option is best for you will largely depend on where the missing tooth is located. If the missing tooth is towards the back of your mouth, you may not require a temporary tooth, as this will be far less visible to most people compared to missing teeth towards the front of the mouth. If you are having a tooth replaced that is located in the front of your mouth, you may be a good candidate for a dental flipper, which consists of a denture with an attached false tooth or a retainer, which will hide your gap and cover all of your teeth.
Temporary Tooth-Replacement Options
If your periodontist determines that you are a good candidate for a dental implant, the procedure will begin with administration of a local anesthetic and dental sedation, if needed. Next, they will drill a small hole into your jawbone into which the titanium implants, which look like cylinders or screws, will be placed. Over the next several months, these implants will fuse with your jawbone. During this time, you will be given a temporary tooth or teeth to wear over the implant sites. Once the process of fusing with your jawbone is complete, your implants will then be uncovered, and extensions attached. Finally, the process will be completed with the attachment of your replacement teeth onto the implants with an abutment. Once this is done and your periodontist has tested it for fit and feel, the dental implant procedure will be complete, and you can begin to enjoy your bright new smile!
There are several different types of temporary tooth-replacement options that will be available depending on your unique needs, which include:
- Flipper denture: Also referred to as an acrylic removable partial denture, a flipper denture fills the space with an artificial tooth that attaches to the post.
- Essix retainer: This artificial tooth fills the space and is adhered by a clear plastic retainer designed to fit over your remaining natural teeth.
- Immediate temporary/permanent crown: Though not everyone will be a viable candidate, in some cases a temporary or permanent crown can be placed the same day as placement of the implant.
- Temporary crown: In most cases, a temporary crown typically made of acrylic is placed using the adjacent teeth to support the artificial tooth between.
While each type of temporary tooth can be a good fit for different cases, which one is right for you will depend on your unique needs. For example, if the tooth you are having replaced is towards the back of your mouth and not readily visible, you may decide to skip having a temporary tooth placed altogether. Regardless of what type of temporary tooth you have placed during your dental implant procedure, it is important that you talk with your periodontist about what types of modifications you need to make to your diet and lifestyle to prevent complications from developing.
Although wearing a temporary tooth during the healing process can be frustrating, doing so can help reduce your risk of developing complications and ensure that your dental implant process is successful. By taking this additional step, you will have a much greater chance of having a dental implant that is strong, secure, and stable and that looks, feels, and functions just like your natural teeth.
Schedule an Appointment
If you have any additional questions about the dental implant process and what temporary tooth options may be available to you while your dental implants are fusing with your jawbone, contact your periodontist today. They can provide you with additional information about the dental implant process and address any additional concerns you may have.