If you’re considering replacing missing teeth with dental implants, you’ll certainly want to know what to expect. Here is a step by guide detailing the dental implant procedure, including what to expect at each appointment.
Dental Implant Visit #1: Consultation and Custom Treatment Plan
If you’ve decided to replace missing teeth with dental implants that look and function like natural teeth, you’ll begin the process with a visit to your dentist for an implant consultation. This appointment typically takes an hour or less. Your dentist will walk you through the procedure, and answer any questions you have.
During this visit or a subsequent visit, your dentist will conduct a thorough examination of your teeth and mouth. Your dentist will need to confirm that your jaw bone is strong enough to support the implant. If your jaw bone is not thick enough you may need bone grafting to support the implant. If you need bone grafting, several additional dental appointments will be necessary.
Digital x-rays and 3-D scans will be taken of your mouth to develop your custom treatment plan. These scans are used to precisely confirm the aesthetics and functionality of the implanted tooth. You will also be able to see what you will look like once you’ve had your dental implants, thanks to the 3-D model provided by your dentist.
Dental Implant Visit #2: Implant Surgery
If your jaw is strong enough to support the implant, or if you’ve fully recovered from bone grafting, you’ll be ready for surgery. You will be sedated, and your mouth will be numbed before the dentist begins the surgery.
Your dentist will make an incision in the gum to expose the jaw bone. Using computer-guided implant placement, a hole or holes will be drilled into the bone to support the implant post. The implant post is made of titanium, which is a biocompatible, very strong material. Once the implant is secure in the jaw, the exposed post will be covered with a temporary denture or crown.
Over the next several months an incredible bodily process called osseointegration will take place. Your jaw bone, gum, and tissues will begin to grow up the titanium screw, creating a strong bond with the implant post. This mimics the way the jaw and gum bond with a natural tooth root.
Dental Implant Visit #3: Abutment Placement
After your implants have securely bonded in your jaw, you’ll return to the dentist to have the abutment placed on the top of the screw. The abutment will be used to attach your crown to the implant. This is a minor surgical procedure, but it will require several weeks for you to fully heal. While your gum is healing from the abutment surgery, your custom crown will be made.
Dental Implant Visit #4
The last step in your dental implant surgery will be placing your permanent crown onto the abutment which is affixed to the implant post. Placing your crown does not require surgery. Your treatment is then considered complete. Your dentist will remind you to maintain excellent oral hygiene, and to schedule dental exams and cleanings at least twice a year. You’ll also be told to return to the dentist if you experience any problems with your dental implants.
Dynamic Dental covers all phases of Family and Cosmetic Dentistry. The Dynamic Duo, Dr. Christina Klein and Dr. Diane Klein, provide the highest quality of dental care in a warm and gentle environment. Services include Preventative & Diagnostic Dentistry, Restorative Dentistry and Cosmetic Dentistry.