When you’re embarrassed by missing or badly decayed teeth, it may be time to consider your options for having them replaced.
These are the following steps you would follow to have dental implants:
- Initial consultation: Your mouth will be thoroughly examined by your dentist. This would include taking X-rays or 3D images, discussing the various implant options and developing a plan for your implant surgery.
- Dental implant placement: At your next scheduled appointment, your dentist will place the dental implant in your jawbone where your tooth is missing. Although your experience may vary, as each patient’s experience is unique, you’ll probably find the procedure to be less painful than you expect. Typically, you should be able to return to work the next day. Local anesthesia or IV sedation can be used to keep you comfortable, depending on the procedure. Post-implant surgery discomfort is similar to that of any other dental surgery. It may include some swelling, bruising, minor bleeding and/or pain. However, you should be able to manage any pain with over-the-counter medications.
- Osseointegration: As you heal, your implant and jawbone will grow together in a process called osseointegration (os-e-o-in-tuh-GRAY-shun), forming a strong, long-lasting foundation for your replacement teeth. During this healing process, which can take up to a few months, you go on with your normal life. You will be on a soft food diet for the first few weeks to make sure your implants heal properly. In some cases, your dentist may also be able to place temporary teeth during this period, if you choose.
- Abutment placement: Once your implant bonds with your jawbone, a small connector – called an abutment – is placed on the dental implant just above the gumline. In some cases, the abutment can be placed at the same time as the implant.
- Custom-make and attach new teeth: After your gums heal, your dentist will make impressions of your mouth and remaining teeth to custom-make your artificial teeth. These teeth – which can be an individual crown, implant-supported bridge or dentures containing multiple replacement teeth – will be attached to the abutment.
- Periodic check-ups: Although they don’t decay, your new teeth will need the same routine care, checkups and cleanings as your natural teeth. Depending on the number and type of implants and replacement teeth you receive, the entire process can take three to nine months. After your dental implant placement is finished, you’ll visit your dentist periodically for follow-up checkups, just as you do now.
I’ll be happy to answer your questions. To schedule a time to come in, call us at 281-671-0824