If you have missing or broken teeth, and have been recommended for dental implants, you may be wondering what to expect along the way. Implants are one of the most common restorative procedures, and provide long lasting permanent results for patients that seek a beautiful, natural looking smile.
Our office will meet with each patient to evaluate if they are a good candidate for dental implants. We use this time to answer any questions they may have, discuss recommended treatment, and what the procedure entails. We develop a customized treatment plan for each patient, depending on their needs.
Dental implants replace tooth roots with metal posts made of titanium. These act like artificial tooth roots, and provide a base of support for the artificial teeth placed on top. An abutment or connector is set on top of the implant and this helps to hold the crown in place. We create customized crowns that match the color and shape of each patient’s teeth allowing them to look natural in the mouth.
The condition of a patient’s jawbone is important, because sufficient support is needed for the implants. As part of our evaluation, we will look to see if a patient has adequate bone present. Having sufficient bone is important to ensure the process is a success. Bone grafting can be done where synthetic bone is used, or bone is taken from another location of the body and transplanted to the area. The bone then has to heal and grow to support the dental implant, and this process can take a few months.
Placing the implant:
The gums are opened to expose the bone. Holes are drilled where the dental implant post will be placed. The implant is then placed deep into the bone. We will provide a partial or temporary denture for appearance if required while the healing process takes place. During this stage of the healing process patients wait for osseointegration to occur. This is where the jawbone grows around the implant. This process can take a few months, but this allows for a solid base to support the implant.
Abutment placement and artificial teeth:
Once osseointegration is complete, an abutment or connector is placed on top of the implant. Healing time is needed before the artificial teeth or crowns are then attached on top. Our office creates realistic custom crowns that match both the shape and color of your existing teeth. This allows the implants to look natural, and provide the smile patients desire.
Local anesthesia is used throughout the implant process to keep our patients relaxed and comfortable. We recommend pain medications and antibiotics after your dental implant surgery. Some swelling and bruising is expected, as well as minor bleeding, but this should subside. If you notice increased swelling or pain after surgery, contact our office immediately.
Dental implant surgery has a 95% average success rate and with proper care, implants can last a lifetime. We recommend good oral hygiene and a soft food diet to assist in the healing process. Avoid hard foods or products that will stain your teeth. Also, schedule your regular visit at our office, so we can monitor the progress and healing process.
If you are interested in finding out more about our dental implant procedures, contact us today to schedule your appointment