Replacing your missing teeth with dental implants is a smart choice for your oral health and your quality of life. They are the most predictable and reliable solution to treat tooth loss because of the unique process used to mimic the entire structure of a tooth. Although it may take longer than traditional treatments, like a fixed bridge, it is time well spent. Your treatment plan will consist of multiple stages to ensure the long-term success of your new smile.
INITIAL DENTAL IMPLANT CONSULTATION
Generally, if you have good oral and general health, you can use dental implants to replace one or more lost teeth; however, you still need a consultation with your dentist, Dr. Herman. She performs a comprehensive examination to assess your oral health and structures. Besides a visual exam, she also uses an X-ray and a CT scan to look for any potential complications that may be brewing beneath the surface, like low bone density or an infection.
She also takes the time to review your medical and lifestyle history to ensure there are minimal risk factors for implant failure. You must also be committed to your oral hygiene and visit your dentist regularly to ensure your new smile lasts. Based on the information of the exam, you may need additional treatments to become a candidate for dental implants, like periodontal therapy or bone grafting.
DENTAL IMPLANT SURGERY
The first step to rebuilding your smile is your dental implant surgery, which will require sedation or anesthesia to ensure your comfort. Your gum tissue is opened to gain access to your jawbone, where small holes are drilled into pre-determined locations to insert your implant posts. Your gum tissue is sutured closed and the healing process begins.
DENTAL IMPLANT OSSEOINTEGRATION & ABUTMENT
After your implants are in place, you’ll spend the next several months healing. The posts stimulate your jaw to encourage new bone growth. This allows your bone to fuse to the posts to provide a stable foundation for your restorations.
Once you’ve fully healed from your placement surgery, you need a second minor procedure to attach abutments to your posts. These are special fixtures that connect your posts to your restorations. Usually, it takes about 2 weeks to heal from your abutment placement.
PLACEMENT OF DENTAL IMPLANT RESTORATIONS
While you’re recovering from having your abutments placed. The dental lab is hard at work creating your restorations. An impression of your mouth is used to design your prosthetic teeth to match the color, size, shape, and appearance of your natural ones. After the lab has finished crafting your new smile, you return to our office to have them attached to your dental implants.
Now that your smile is complete, it’s time to protect your investment. It’s best to maintain your oral hygiene at home and visit your dentist at least twice a year for a cleaning and checkup. With the right care, your dental implants will serve you for a lifetime!
If you’re ready to rebuild your smile or you have questions about the dental implant process, contact our office today.