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3 Specialty Tools Used To Start The Dental Implant Process

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Dental implants are a common treatment option for missing teeth. An artificial root is implanted into the jawbone and slowly becomes fused in ever-growing bone and tissue. An artificial tooth is then snapped into place over that root. The result is one of the more natural replacement options thanks to the root's stability.

The dental implant procedure involves a lot of steps. But before the artificial root is even implanted, some specialty tools are brought into the treatment. Here are three of the tools used to start the dental implant process.

Tissue Punch

The tool with a somewhat frightening name does what it says in the name: it punches through your gum tissue. A tissue punch is typically used when your gums and bone are in relatively good shape and the dentist wants to preserve as much of that organic material as possible.

If your gums and bone weren't as strong and healthy, your dentist would likely cut a flap in your gums to access your bone. The process can cause you to lose small bits of gum and bone to the cutting. This also gives you a longer heal time and increases the risk of your gum tissue receding while the flap is open.

Tissue punch, on the other hand, makes a direct hole through the gums directly above where the drilling needs to happen. Your dentist will use a variety of scans and guides to find the right spot for the punch. 

Pilot Drill

A pilot drill is the initial dental drill used to map out the hole for the implant root. The drill has the smallest diameter out of any drill used during the implant process.

Your dentist will give you local anesthetic then use the pilot drill to create a tunnel partly through the bone at the root implant site. Eventually, the dentist will switch to a drill with a wider diameter to make the hole bigger. The drill diameter keeps getting bigger until the hole is the correct size for the chosen implant.

Dense Bone Drill and Screw Tap

These tools go hand in hand because each is only required if you have some extra thick jawbone that standard drills can't penetrate. A dense bone drill will thus serve as the final diameter drill of your pilot drilling process.

And then the screw tap comes in. The screw tap is essentially a drill bit that creates grooves as it drills. Those grooves are carefully designed to complement the exterior ridges of the chosen implant root. This allows the implant to screw into the hole in your bone using the screw tap grooves as both guide and security.

For more information about the dental implant process, talk with a clinic like Pittsburgh Dental Spa