Dental Implants Process

Dental Implant Surgery

What are the steps in dental implant procedure?

Dental implant procedure typically follows four steps.

STEP 1 – Examination and PlanningDental Implants Process
The dental surgeon will evaluate your mouth and check if the dental implant procedure can be done on you. Examination and diagnosis consist of an oral examination, x-rays and photographs. The best candidates are individuals who have adequate bone to support an implant and healthy gums. Our dental surgeons may still recommend moving forward with the implant procedure on individuals who do not have enough bone, in which case the patient will also undergo a bone-grafting procedure.

STEP 2 – Preparing the Jaw for Implantation
First, your surgeon will use a local anesthetic to numb the area before the surgery. Alternatively you may opt for sedation so that you're less aware of what is going on. Next, the doctor makes an incision in your gum tissue to create an opening over the bone. A small-diameter hole (pilot hole) is made where there is no tooth in order to guide the titanium screw that holds a dental implant in place.

Once the anesthesia wears off, the level of discomfort will vary from patient to patient, but most patients do not have significant problems. Your doctor may prescribe painkillers to reduce discomfort and antibiotics to decrease the risk of infection. Some pain or discomfort may last for several days. Swelling will typically start to disappear in 4-5 days.

STEP 3 – Placement of the Implant
After the initial pilot hole has been made into the appropriate jaw site, it is slowly widened to allow for placement of the implant screw. Following this placement, your surgeon will place a protective cover screw (or healing abutment) and stitch the gum tissue back over the bone and the implant (or around the abutment).

In most cases, before attaching the permanent crown, your dentist will allow the implant site to heal for three to five months to allow the jawbone surrounding the implant to grow into the implant surfaces (osseointegration). A temporary crown may be used in order to allow the gum to grow and shape itself in a natural way. The temporary crown is eventually replaced with a permanent crown.

In recent years, dentists began to use a new strategy for replacement of missing teeth. Candidacy for this type of early intervention is dependent upon anatomical factors of the extracted tooth site. In the case of immediate or one-day implants the implant is placed and the temporary or even the permanent crown is loaded at the same time. One-day implant simplifies and shortens the treatment process. It is critical to understand though that this state-of-the-art technique requires strict selection criteria and may not be available to all patients.

STEP 4 – Connecting the Abutment and the Crown
The final step of the process is the creation and placement of your new tooth, called a crown. Depending on your situation, the permanent crown will either be loaded the same day as part of your dental implant procedure or mailed to your U.S. mailing address. Permanent crown can be fitted and attached to your implant by your local dentist in less than one hour. Alternatively, you may choose to return to our dentist several months later in order to load the crown by our dentist. In the latter case, this will require an additional trip which will be responsibility of the patient.

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