Dental implants are considered surgical units which are implanted in the jawbone to replace missing teeth. These orthodontic anchors are embedded into the gum line, and the prosthetics are attached to the abutments.
Although the implant procedure is lengthier than most other dental procedures, it provides patients with sturdy replacement teeth that feel natural and last for many years. Read more to learn about the dental implant process step by step.
This first part of the dental implant procedure has to do with consultation and planning. Our dentist in Concord, NH, will do a visual inspection of your teeth and gums. Afterward, panoramic films and X-rays will be taken for further study.
This comprehensive dental examination will help your dental practitioner develop the ideal implant procedure for your tooth replacement.
Because dental implant surgery is invasive, your medical history will be reviewed. Your records need to specify whether you are currently taking medications that may interfere with the surgery or with the healing process after.
Additionally, those who have cardiovascular diseases will be prescribed certain antibiotics prior to the surgery. These antibiotics are for preventing infections post-surgery.
Now comes the treatment plan. This summarizes the first two parts of the entire procedure before the actual surgery is commenced. The number of teeth to be extracted, the number of missing teeth to be replaced, your overall medical condition, the duration for healing, and more will be mapped out.
Dental implant surgeries will have you started with local anesthesia, general anesthesia, and/or sedation. You will be instructed on what kind of foods and drinks to have according to the anesthesia type used on you.
For general anesthesia and sedation, you should have someone you trust accompany you throughout the surgery and afterward.
Implant surgeries are outpatient operations. The surgery is split into several parts, stretching over several months. This lengthy interval has to do with the healing process after every implant surgery.
A small cut will be made in your gum to reveal the bone beneath. Our dentist will drill holes to place the implants. These drilled holes will be temporarily covered with a partial denture, which you can take off for cleaning.
If your jawbones are not thick enough, bone grafting will have to occur. Without bone grafting, the implant may collapse. Thick jawbones can help implants withstand biting and chewing pressure.
A bone graft is a bone substitute. Aside from providing extra support, it is meant to allow new bone growth in the targeted area.
Metal post implanting is where the metal fixture or implant post is fastened to the jawbone. From here, a waiting period will be provided for healing.
The next step is to wait for the bone to grow where the implant is to be placed. This bone growth is expected to integrate with the implant, which is a process known as osseointegration.
The anticipated wait time is several months before this process is completed.
Once osseointegration is complete, and the implant base has fully joined with your bone, the abutment will be attached to the implant. This may require a separate surgery.
For minor surgeries, local anesthesia will be needed again. Then, the abutment, or the piece which will “hold” the prosthetic crown, is attached to the implant base.
When your gum heals, the prosthetic crown will finally be secured on the abutment. Your dentist will have options for fixed and removable artificial teeth.
You might need antibiotics and pain-relievers to relieve discomfort post-procedure and to facilitate the healing process. Our dentist will provide a list of foods and drinks to avoid, brushing and maintenance tips, and other instructions.
For more information about dental implants or to schedule a consultation, contact Concord Dental Associates. We can help you determine if dental implants are suitable for you and inform you of other options for teeth replacement.