Dental Implants And Gum Tissue Regrowth: Why It's So Important

23 March 2022
 Categories: Dentist, Blog

A finished dental implant replicates the look and performance of a natural tooth. The implanted section (a small titanium rod) becomes an artificial tooth root, with the prosthetic dental crown attached to it becoming your new tooth. Esthetics are obviously crucial with dental implants. It defeats the point of receiving a dental implant if it doesn't look natural. This natural look is greatly assisted by your gum tissues, which must regrow to form a seal around the base of the prosthetic tooth, hiding the margin where the crown meets the implant. Does this just happen naturally?

An Unfinished State

Before a dental implant is considered to be finished (with the addition of a final, permanent dental crown), it temporarily exists in an unfinished state. The implant needs adequate time to fuse with your jawbone, and only then will a fitted dental crown be capable of withstanding the bite pressure that it will be subjected to each day. This healing time is known as osseointegration, and it's during this time that your gum tissues make a comeback.

Gum Tissue Regrowth

To actually install the implant in your jaw, a dentist must make an incision in your gum tissues. There will be some swelling, bleeding, and mild discomfort, but your gum tissues will immediately begin to heal. This healing must be controlled. Osseointegration can take anywhere from six to 12 weeks, and it's possible for your gum tissues to regrow over the implant site during this time, sealing the implant inside. To avoid then needing to make additional incisions in your gum tissues, the healing of your gum tissues during osseointegration must be carefully managed.

A Healing Abutment

After implantation, your dentist will add a healing abutment to the top of the implant. Your gums then heal around the abutment, which begins to resemble a small metallic disc where your tooth used to be. This abutment controls the regrowth coverage of your gum tissues, ensuring that the implant is still accessible when your dentist needs to replace the healing abutment with a connective abutment, which the permanent dental crown will be attached to. 

A Temporary Crown

Depending on the tooth that's being replaced by your implant, your dentist may offer to fit a temporary dental crown to your healing abutment. This ensures that your missing tooth won't be conspicuous during your period of osseointegration. A temporary dental crown is usually only recommended for anterior teeth (incisors, canines—the teeth that are visible when you smile). 

The regrowth of your gum tissues is an important part of helping your dental implant to look natural. This regrowth starts long before your dental implant will be finished, which is why it must be regulated.