When you’re missing one or more teeth or you receive the news that you need to have a tooth extracted, you may feel overwhelmed by the thought of planning for tooth replacement. Adding an additional surgical procedure like dental implant placement into this mix, can take overwhelmed to completely stressed. If you’re thinking about replacing one or more missing teeth with dental implant supported tooth replacement, take a deep breath. This may seem like a complex treatment option, but let’s take it one step at a time. This section discusses the implant placement procedure. It can be performed under a local anaesthetic although in some cases, a general anaesthetic is required. The insertion of a dental implant involves several stages which include:
Insertion of the dental implant;
- Fitting of the false tooth (crown)
Delayed implant placement is associated with good quality bone that is fully functional at time of implant placement.
Dental implant surgery is usually an outpatient surgery performed in stages:
- Your damaged tooth is removed.
- Your jawbone is prepared for surgery, a process that may involve bone grafting.
- After your jawbone heals, your oral surgeon places the dental implant metal post in your jawbone.
- You go through a healing period that may last several months.
- Your oral surgeon places the abutment, which is an extension of the implant metal post. (In some cases, when the implant is very stable, this can be done at the same time that the implant is placed.)
- After the soft tissue heals, your dentist will make molds of your teeth and jawbone and later place the final tooth or teeth.
- The entire process can take many months from start to finish. Much of that time is devoted to healing and waiting for the growth of new bone in your jaw.
Dental implants are non-removable dental devices that can replace lost teeth and help preserve the jawbone. An implant, which is essentially a small titanium screw, will be surgically placed into the upper or lower jawbone. When the entire treatment is completed, the implants will replicate the look and feel of natural teeth, so there will be no slipping or sliding as with removable dentures.
The first step of getting dental implants is the placement. This is a minor surgical procedure where one of the doctors will precisely position the titanium post(s) within your jaw. They’ll choose the positions based on a number of x-rays and scans. Afterward, you’ll be given 4-6 months to heal. During this time, the titanium will naturally bond with the surrounding jawbone, which is another reason why implants provide so much security. While you’re healing, you’ll wear a temporary restoration so that you’ll have new teeth from your very first visit. Once you have completely healed, you’ll return to our home/office to have your final restoration placed.
Step 1 – Schedule a Consultation Appointment
To get started, you’ll need to call to schedule a tooth replacement consultation with a trusted dentist who provides dental implant placement. During this initial visit, the dentist will examine your smile, review overall health, discuss any past surgeries, and answer your questions. At this time, you should review all of your tooth replacement options and try to find the best one for your unique situation. If you choose to proceed with dental implants, you should schedule out your entire treatment process to ensure treatment will fit your schedule and budget.
Step 2 – Your Dental Implant Placement Surgery
Dental implant placement is a minimally invasive surgical procedure. The dentist will need to make an incision into the gums and supportive jawbone structure. Then, an implant post is placed into the jaw. A protective cap is attached to the top of the implant. This protects the site from damage or infection as it heals and the implant fuses with the jawbone.
Step 3 – An Osseointegration Vacation
Following dental implant placement, you simply need to wait between three and six months. During this time, the dental implant post fuses with the supportive alveolar bone and gum tissues. This creates a natural support structure to anchor any number of replacement teeth just like a tooth root does.
Step 4 – Beautiful, Long Lasting, Full Smile
Following the osseointegration process, you’ll return to the dental office. The protective caps are removed, and your tooth replacement prosthetic is attached using an abutment piece. Finally, you go home with a flawlessly restored smile.