Single tooth replacement
When a tooth needs to be extracted, an artificial tooth root is inserted into the socket either immediately after extraction, or – in case of severe infection – after a waiting period of around 4 weeks. This is called “immediate” or “early implantation”, and is only a minor procedure, because the socket (alveolus) is already present, and the root of the diseased tooth is simply exchanged for an implant.
If the tooth has been missing for a long time, a so-called “late implantation” is performed. This entails drilling a small hole of around 4 mm in diameter into the jawbone, into which the implant is inserted. The procedure, just like those described above, is completely pain-free and much less unpleasant than the drilling of a cavity in a carious tooth.
Subsequently, various types of prostheses can be screwed on to the implant, just like different bolts or hooks can be screwed in to a wall plug. In this case of single tooth replacement, it would be a crown, which takes the place of your tooth.
The times in which big implantation screws were reamed into the jaw, with all the side effects of jaw surgery, are long gone. The procedure is known today as “minimally invasive” or keyhole surgery. The gum incision is often no larger than a few millimeters.