If you have one or more missing teeth, you can replace them with dental implants. Dental implants are the preferred restoration method since they fuse with the bone and function as natural teeth. Let’s go over the surgery process, so you will know what to expect.
You will begin with a consultation, so your dentist can evaluate your mouth and formulate a treatment plan. Your dentist will take X-rays and determine if your bones can support the implants. Then, you will receive a surgery date for placing the dental implant. This will be the first of three dental procedures. Your dentist needs to place the implant, attach the abutment, and secure the prosthetic tooth.
When you arrive at the office, your dentist will provide IV sedation or local anesthesia to keep you comfortable during the procedure. Then, your dentist will prep your jawbone for surgery and insert the implant. The insert is buried in the jawbone, so it can act as the tooth’s root.
You’ll be sent home with the implant in place, so you can heal. Osseointegration occurs during the healing process. This is the act of the implant fusing with the bone. To ensure proper healing, you’ll need to eat soft foods for a few weeks after getting the implant placed. Then, you can return to normal activities while you wait for osseointegration to take place. While each patient differs, it typically takes a few months for osseointegration. Your dentist will provide you with tips to aid in the osseointegration process.
The abutment is the connecting piece used to secure the prosthesis to the implant. If your dentist didn’t place the abutment and implants at the same time, you’ll need to go back after the implant is fused to the bone. Your dentist will numb the area and create a small incision along the gum line to expose the implant. The dentist will secure the abutment on top of the implant and send you home to heal. It generally takes 4-6 weeks for the gums to heal after placing the abutment. Again, your dentist will provide you with tips to ensure you heal properly after this surgery.
You will need to go back to the dentist a final time to receive your prosthetic tooth. Depending on your needs, your prosthetic tooth or teeth could be dental crowns, implant-supported dentures, or an implant-support bridge. The prosthesis will be fabricated to match your existing teeth, down to the color. Your dentist will attach the prosthesis to the abutment and check your bite. If necessary, your dentist can adjust the prosthetic tooth during the appointment. By the time you leave, your implant and prosthetic tooth or teeth will be securely in your mouth and feel like natural teeth.
If you are considering dental implant surgery, contact kksmiles for a consultation. You can request an appointment online or call 770-830-3700. During your consultation, you can find out if you’re a good candidate for dental implant surgery.