Patients choose to undergo dental implant treatment for a variety of reasons, ranging from cosmetic to practical. Dental implant treatment is a multi-step process. You can expect these five things to happen over a series of dental implant appointments:
As with many surgical procedures, the first step of getting dental implants is attending a consultation. Nervous patients will be relieved to know that no dental work will take place during the consultation. Instead, this is an opportunity to talk to your dentist about the pros and cons of dental implant treatment. This is also an opportunity to get an idea of what treatment will entail and what you can expect during the recovery process.
Once you decide to go ahead with dental implant treatment, your dentist will help you schedule your next appointment. During this appointment, your dentist will take measurements of your jaw and teeth in addition to creating x-ray images. These procedures will help your dentist determine what additional procedures, if any, are necessary for successful dental implant treatment. For example, some patients require bone grafts and dental extractions to facilitate implant treatment.
3. Dental Extraction
Many patients undergo dental implant surgery to replace teeth that are already missing. However, during an examination, your dentist may identify additional teeth that are structurally unstable or severely decayed. If these teeth cannot be treated using conservative methods, such as dental fillings, your dentist may suggest extraction. Dental extractions are often performed in a separate appointment before dental implants are placed. Your mouth will be allowed to fully heal, following dental extraction, before the rest of your dental implant treatment proceeds.
4. Dental Implants
Once your mouth has been prepared, any necessary bone grafts have taken place, and unhealthy teeth have been extracted, you're ready to proceed to the next phase of treatment. During this appointment, your dentist will make an incision in your gums that will allow them to place your dental implant where it needs to go. The exact placement of your implant will depend on the type that you choose. Subperiosteal implants sit below the gums but above the jawbone in contrast to endosteal implants that are placed directly into the jawbone itself.
5. Dental Crown Integration
Typically, there will be a gap of time between dental implant placement and dental crown placement in order to allow the tissues in your mouth to heal. Once your dentist deems that you are ready, you will return to their office to have dental crowns placed on your dental implants. This concludes the dental implant procedure, allowing patients to enjoy natural-looking, sturdy prosthetics that can last for many years.
For more information on a dental implant service, contact a professional near you.