A dental implant is an artificial tooth root replacement. This is commonly found in prosthetic dentistry. Dental implants have been recorded as far back the Mayan civilization. In this case bone was used and was implanted into the mouth where a tooth once was. Archaeologists have found many examples of this in the artefacts found in ancient Mayan burial sites.
The implant procedure is not difficult but it can be painful for the patient. In an implant procedure a titanium screw is inserted into the gums. First the titanium screw must be roughened and then treated with plasma spray that is designed to increase the integration potential of the implant. A hole is then carefully drilled into the jawbone and the implant is installed in the osteotomy. The surgery is completed as an outpatient surgery and the patient receives a general anaesthetic or a local anaesthetic given by a trained professional. While there may need to be a number of follow up surgeries this surgery only has to be done once. The recovery and healing time can take up to a several months. When the time is right, the dentist will then use the implant to secure crowns or a prosthetic restoration containing several teeth.
There are different ways an implant can be done. It can be done immediately after a tooth has been extracted. A person can have a post immediate post-extraction implant placement. This usually happens two to three weeks after the tooth has been removed. The patient may also opt to have a late implantation and this usually happens about three months after the tooth has been removed.