Dental implants are the permanent method to replace missing teeth. The dental implant procedure takes place over a period of a few months because the implants need to become integrated with your jaw to offer support and stability to a dental crown. Your starting point will be to get a consultation at your local dental clinic; whereafter, your dentist will present you with a treatment plan that explains each step of your dental implant surgery. Today we are going to explain what you can expect from the tooth implant process and how best to prepare.
The Tooth Implant Process: It Begins With A Consultation
Before you can even think about dental implant surgery, you need an assessment from a dentist that offers consultation. Not everyone is a candidate for dental implants. You need to have enough strong jaw bone available to anchor the tooth implants, and any chronic health conditions need to be well managed. You also need to have strong gum tissue that is free from periodontal disease. Your dentist will take a full medical history to establish your state of health and will ask you questions about any medications you are taking.
He or she will also need to inspect your mouth and teeth. You can expect to have digital photographs and x-rays taken of your mouth during this visit. Once the assessment has been completed, you will be given a treatment plan that documents each step of your dental implant procedure and a cost estimate.
Do You Need A Bone Graft Or Tooth Extraction?
If you do not have strong enough jaw bone, or if it is too soft to support dental implants, your dental practitioner may recommend bone grafting. This procedure is not necessary for everyone and is done to stimulate bone growth in the jaw. In some cases, it is possible to do a minor graft at the time your tooth implants are placed. In other cases, bone grafting will be done as a separate procedure.
Patients who are having implants placed in the upper jaw may require a sinus lift prior to their procedure.
Some patients may still have a damaged or decayed tooth in their mouth, which needs to be extracted. If this is the case, you may have a waiting period of around 10 weeks to allow the inflammation to heal before your dental implants can be placed.
Dental Implant Surgery: Placing The Dental Implants
The tooth implant process is a surgical procedure that requires your dentist to cut through your gum in order to access the jaw bone beneath it. This is done under anaesthetic to make it as comfortable as possible. Your dentist will make holes in the underlying jaw and screw the dental implants into the holes before stitching the incision up again. This part of the dental implant procedure only takes an hour or two to complete, dependent on how complex it is.
Once this part of your dental implant surgery is done, you will undergo a three to six-month healing period. During this part of the dental implant procedure, you will wait for your jaw to integrate the tooth implants and grow around them. This makes them strong and stable enough to withstand the forces of biting and chewing.
Dental Implant Surgery: Placing The Abutment
When the dental implants have become integrated with your jaw, it will be time to attach the abutment, which is a connecting piece between the implant and your dental crown. In order to complete this stage of the dental implant procedure, your dentist must reopen the surgical site to attach the extension piece. This incision also needs to be sutured and requires your soft tissue to go through another healing period before the dental crown can be fitted.
Placing Your Dental Crown
The final stage in your tooth implant process is fitting the dental crown. The crown is the artificial tooth that other people will see when you smile, and it’s important that it matches the other teeth in your mouth in terms of size, shape, and colour. By choosing to work with an experienced and skilled dental practitioner, you can ensure a natural-looking result.
How Long Do Dental Implants Take To Complete?
The length of time it takes to finalise your dental implant process will depend on the steps that need to be followed to replace your missing teeth. The three surgical stages of placing the implants, attaching the abutment, and fitting the dental crown may take up to nine months to complete. However, if you are starting off with bone grafting or you need a tooth extraction first, your process could take longer.
The only way to know for sure is to consult with your dentist and get a treatment plan. The treatment plan will include each stage of the process and give you an expected timeline for completion.
The most reliable way to find out if dental implants are a suitable treatment option for you and what to expect from the tooth implant process is to consult with a professional for personal advice. Please contact us for a dental consultation near you: (03) 9626 9581.
Dental Implant Surgery
Tooth Implant Procedure: All You Need to Know