Following Procedure: What To Expect With Dental Implants
When a patient gets dental implants, it's more of a process than a single act. So you don't get surprised by it, read below for a step-by-step guide on what to expect with dental implants from start to finish. Keep in mind that the timelines between each step can vary depending on your particular needs.
Almost anyone can get dental implants but some have to undergo a few extra steps. Your dentist will evaluate the stability of your jawbone and make arrangements to remove any damaged teeth. X-rays will determine the need for a procedure to shore up your jawbones. If a tooth has to be extracted, you will need to wait until the swelling and irritation have disappeared before moving on to the next step. Impressions may be made of your mouth during this appointment as well.
Many people have weak bones due to aging, medication, and other medical conditions. With a bone graft, material from either your own body or from artificial substances are embedded into your jaws using an outpatient procedure. You have to heal completely from the bone graft surgery before you proceed to the implantation surgery, and this can take anywhere from three months to up to a year.
This surgery is often performed using various types of anesthesia and you will discuss your options ahead of time with your dentist, often during the first consultation. This part of the process involves the placement of metal posts that are screwed into your jawbone underneath where your new crown will be. The implant must attach firmly to the jawbone over the next few months before anything else can be done. If your implant is visible, a removable false tooth may be used for cosmetic purposes while your implant site heals.
The abutment is the top part of the implant and is placed on top of the metal post. This requires anesthesia but is far quicker than the implantation surgery. An impression of the abutment may be made.
After your gums have healed from the abutment placement, a mold is made of your teeth so that a natural-looking crown can be created. This tooth will blend in seamlessly with your other teeth in size and color.
Once your mouth has fully recovered from previous procedures, the crown is attached to the abutment. This is the final step of the process and just involves placing the crown and using dental cement to keep in place.
To find out more about the dental implant process, speak to your dentist.