The dental implant process begins with a consultation from an implant specialist. Your general dentist may not be the person to perform this consultation. Be sure to ask whether they have experience in this process. There are some dentists that perform the entire procedure including surgery. It may seem easier to see a “one-stop-shop” dentist who does it all him or herself. In our opinion, this is not always advisable. Be sure to thoroughly vet their professional experience in both dentistry and the oral surgery component necessary to perform a successful implant.
Preparation of the Implant Site
Implant success depends in large part on the health of the patient prior to placement of the dental implant posts. A sufficient amount of healthy bone is needed for the implant post to fully integrate into the jawbone. Some patients, specifically those missing teeth for years, may lack adequate healthy bone to support an implant. In such cases, an experienced professional can perform a bone grafting procedure to strengthen bone at the implant site.
During this procedure, the surgeon will take healthy bone from another part of the body and place it into the jawbone. If this is not possible, other options include using cadaver bone or bovine bone. It may also be necessary to extract an existing tooth or teeth to make room for the implants.
Placement of Dental Implants and the Replacement Teeth
Once prepared, an incision is made in the gum and the implant is surgically implanted into the jawbone. The oral surgery is usually a quick and relatively painless procedure performed under a local anesthetic. It will usually take several months for the jawbone and gum to fully heal while your living bone fuses with the implant, a process called osseointegration. Once healing is complete, you will return to your general or cosmetic dentist to have a natural-looking replacement tooth affixed on the implant post.
After the entire dental implant procedure is completed you should be the beneficiary of a permanent tooth or teeth. The longevity of the implant prosthetic will vary dependent upon many factors, including age, general health, oral health and how you care for your teeth.
Ready to schedule a dental implant procedure? Reach out to our team at Synergy OMS and we’ll be in touch!