If you are missing any of your natural teeth or have issues affecting them where extractions would be considered the best choice of treatment, you may want to be considered for dental implants.
A dental implant is an innovative tooth-replacement solution that does not require support from your natural teeth. After the implant is carefully placed into your upper or lower jaw, your bone is then allowed several months to heal around it which provides the stability needed for chewing, durability, and longevity of the prosthesis.
Here are the steps typically followed for treatment planning and placement of your dental implant.
A consultation is the very first step in the process to get dental implants and is necessary to make sure that you are a suitable candidate for this treatment.
Your dental implant surgeon will discuss in detail your medical history, medications you take, and will perform a physical examination of your gum tissue, teeth, and jawbone. This examination will also include x-rays or a CT scan to determine if there is an appropriate amount of bone present for implant placement that will ultimately ensure strong support of the implants.
During this visit, your surgeon will be happy to answer any questions that you have about the procedure and will be able to advise you on what to expect at each stage of the process. Finally, you will be given specific steps to follow regarding preparing for your treatment, such as stopping any specific medications that are necessary.
The first phase of surgery is the most invasive since it is when the dental implant is placed. The procedure can be performed using a combination of local anesthesia and various forms of sedation. The best option is typically discussed at your consultation to ensure you have the best experience during surgery.
This stage involves using an incision to access the jawbone then with surgical instruments, a space is created within the bone that the implant is carefully placed into. Following completion of the procedure, the incision will be closed and the bone left to heal around the implant. This process is called osseointegration and usually takes up to several months. Alternatively, some patients are candidates for a temporary implant crown to be placed while the implant is healing in order to fill the space of the missing tooth.
Once your implant has healed around your bone, the second phase of treatment will begin. The implant will be uncovered then parts attached that are necessary to begin the process of creating the implant crown attachment. This step may be completed by scanning or making an impression of the area and will be used to create the crown, bridge, or denture that will replace your missing tooth or teeth. The restoration will be made in the perfect size, shape, and color to blend in with your existing teeth.
The final step is to attach the crown, bridge, or denture to your dental implant for completion of your procedure. An abutment is the special connector that is needed for this process and can be screwed or cemented to the crown.
The recovery process from implant procedures are typically not extensive in nature. There may be mild to moderate bruising and gum tissue swelling that is to be expected. You will be given postoperative instructions that you should follow such as remaining on a soft food diet for up to a week during the initial period of healing. Adhering to these instructions will reduce the risk of complications and aid in a speedy recovery. Most patients may return to work within 1-2 days following their procedure at which time mild discomfort can usually be managed using over-the-counter pain medications.
To learn more, call Rejuvenescence Oral & Facial Surgery, Dental Implants, and Cosmetics at 770-343-2111 for our office in Duluth, Georgia.