A dental implant is a relatively permanent way to replace a missing tooth or a set of missing teeth. There are countless benefits to dental implants, and if you’re considering this option, you may be wondering about the dental implant procedure.
Here’s an overview so that you know what to expect.
Typically, the process starts with a consultation with your dentist or oral surgeon. During this appointment, your dentist talks with you about the proces, looks at your mouth, takes x-rays, and starts to make a treatment plan.
In rare cases, you may need bone grafting before you go through the rest of the dental implant procedure. Typically, this happens when you have bone deterioration issues due to tooth loss or a condition such as osteoporosis. Essentially, a surgeon takes bone from one part of your body and moves it to the other part.
If you don’t need bonegrafting, the root implant will be the first active step in your dental implant procedure. Implants feature a titanium root. Your dentist makes a small opening in your gum and inserts the prosthetic root into your bone. Then, they close the gum tissue over the root.
After getting the root, you need to go home for several weeks. During this time, the root actually ossifies to your bone. This creates a permanent connection so that you don’t have to ever replace this part of the dental implant. The exact amount of time needed for this part of the dental implant procedure varies depending on your body and on the location of the implant root, but it usually takes between four and eight weeks.
Once the root has ossified, you return to your dentist, and they put on the cap. Sometimes called a crown, the cap is designed to match the shape and color of your existing teeth. To place the cap on the root, the dentist has to surgically opened your gum line to reveal the root. When the titanium post is visible, the dentist adheres the cap to the root.
During all of these steps, you need pain management. Some patients are fine with local anesthesia, while others may need to opt for something stronger. If you have a lot of fears or pain sensitivity, you may want to talk with your dentist about taking an oral sedative such as an anti-anxiety medication to help you stay calm during the procedure. Alternatively, you may want to go under general anesthesia. For a bone graft, general anesthesia is practically a necessity.
Life With Dental Implants
Once you have the dental implants, you just need to take care of them as you do the rest of your teeth. In other words, you need to brush and floss regularly, and you also need to make regular appointments with your dentist.
Keep in mind that the dental implant procedure may vary slightly depending on your unique situation. To learn more about the process and to setup an appointment, contact us today. At Shallowford Dental, we offer dental implants as well as many other routine and cosmetic dental procedures.