The dental implant procedure is a series of procedures where your missing tooth is replaced at the roots by an artificial tooth. In recent decades dental implant surgery has been the preferred alternative to other tooth replacements like dentures and bridges.
The procedures that are performed will depend on your personal circumstances and condition of your jaw. Let’s take a closer look at what is required for successful dental implant surgery.
How To Prepare For Dental Implant Surgery
Your dental exam
Before you can move forward with dental implants you require a thorough dental examination. Your dentist will assess your teeth, gums and jaw. He will take x-rays of your mouth and discuss your medical and dental history with you.
Not everyone is eligible for dental implant surgery and it is important that your gums are generally healthy and that you do not have any uncontrolled or chronic medical conditions that affect your body’s ability to heal.
Your treatment plan
Once your dentist has evaluated the number of teeth to be replaced, what sort of condition your jaw bone is in and what your long term needs are he will be able to draw up a treatment plan that documents each step of the tooth implant procedure.
How Does A Dental Implant Procedure Work?
If it is still in your mouth, the damaged tooth will be removed first. Then your jaw will be prepared for dental implant surgery. If you require a bone graft, it will be done at this stage. If your tooth has been missing for some time, you may have bone loss.
Do you need a bone graft?
Having sufficient bone to anchor the implant into is very important. If you do not have enough of your own, your dentist may perform a bone graft by taking bone tissue from another part of your body (or another source) and implanting it at the site.
If you do not require a bone graft, an incision will be made into your gum to expose your jaw. The dental implant will be placed and the incision will be closed up.
The importance of osseointegration
You will need to give your jaw time to heal after dental implant surgery and this could take a few months to complete. You can only move forward with your treatment plan once healing is fully completed. This is important because your jaw needs to integrate the implant into it, a process that is known as osseointegration. This is what makes the implant strong and stable.
Placing the abutment
Sometimes the abutment, an extension component, can be placed at the same time as the implant, at other times your dentist may wait a few months for healing to take place.
In order to do this, your gum will need to be re-opened to access your implant. The abutment will be attached, and then your gum tissue will be closed again.
Making the crown
Your dentist will make a cast of your teeth so that he can create a realistic crown that blends in with your natural teeth. Once your soft tissue has healed completely, the crown can be placed onto the abutment.
How Long Does A Dental Implant Procedure Take?
Placing the implant in your jaw may only take an hour or two in the chair, but the entire dental implant process can take up to 12 months from start to finish.
The total period of time depends on the complexity of your personal circumstances and your body’s ability to heal itself. Your dentist will give you an indication of the timeline when he creates your treatment plan.
Are you interested in finding out more about the dental implant procedure and what you can expect from dental implant surgery? It’s always best to speak to a professional: (02) 8503 9902.