Are you considering dental implants as a solution for missing teeth? Dental implants are the closest you can get to healthy, natural teeth and are becoming more popular for many patients in need of tooth replacement.
In this blog, we’ll walk you through the dental implant procedure step-by-step and discuss potential signs of dental implant failure. We’ll also provide tips on maintaining your new artificial teeth.
Table of Contents
- What Are Dental Implants?
- The Benefits of Dental Implants
- The Dental Implant Procedure Step-by-Step
- After the Dental Implant Procedure
- Care for Your Dental Implants
- Schedule a Consultation with Oral Facial & Implant Specialists
- Frequently Asked Questions
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are a permanent solution to replace missing or damaged natural teeth. They not only restore your smile and confidence, but they also help maintain the jawbone’s structure and prevent further bone loss.
There are three primary parts of a dental implant:
- An implant screw that is surgically placed into the jawbone and acts as a root for the artificial tooth.
- A dental abutment that connects the implant and the artificial tooth (crown).
- A dental crown that is custom-made to match the shape, size, and color of your natural teeth.
Dental implants are a durable solution for replacing missing teeth and offer benefits like improved appearance and oral health. The procedure involves consultation, potential tooth extraction or bone grafting, implant placement, healing and osseointegration, abutment, and crown placement. Maintaining good oral hygiene and regular dental check-ups are vital for long-term implant success.
The Benefits of Dental Implants
Some benefits of having dental implants include:
- Improved appearance, as they look and feel like real teeth
- Improved speech and comfort
- Increased durability, lasting many years or even a lifetime when properly cared for
- Prevent bone loss and maintain the structure of your face and jaw
- Easier chewing and digestion
- Better self-esteem and confidence
- Convenient maintenance, as they can be cared for like natural teeth
Explore the pros, cons, and long-term benefits of dental implants in our blog Are Dental Implants Worth the Cost?
The Dental Implant Procedure Step-by-Step
1. Initial Consultation
Your journey begins with an initial consultation where you’ll discuss your dental implant treatment options with your oral surgeon. They will consider factors such as bone density, gum tissue health, and the type of implants required to create a personalized treatment plan for you.
2. Tooth Extraction and Bone Grafting
Before implant placement, any damaged or decayed teeth must be extracted. In cases without enough bone to support the implant, bone grafts may be necessary.
Bone grafting involves using donor bone (often from the patient’s body) or synthetic materials to promote bone growth where needed. Bone grafts will extend healing times as the bone must grow and fuse with the graft material.
3. Implant Placement
During this procedure, the oral surgeon will create an incision in the gum tissue and drill a small hole in the jawbone to place the titanium implant. This procedure is usually performed under local anesthesia.
A healing abutment or temporary crown may be placed to allow for gum shaping and prevent food from entering the implant site. Afterward, your surgeon will close the incision with stitches, and a temporary crown may be placed over the implant.
4. Healing and Osseointegration
After the implant placement, your body needs time to heal and integrate the titanium post into your jawbone through a process called osseointegration. The healing time after dental implant surgery can take three to six months, depending on your body’s healing ability.
During this time, it’s crucial to maintain good oral hygiene and follow your surgeon’s post-operative instructions.
For more information on osseointegration, read our blog How To Heal Faster After Dental Implants.
5. Abutment Placement
Once osseointegration is complete, you’ll return to your dentist for abutment placement. The abutment is a small connector that attaches the implant to the artificial tooth. Your dentist will open the gum tissue again to expose the implant, and the abutment will be attached.
6. Permanent Crown Placement
After abutment placement, your dentist will take impressions of your teeth to create a custom-made crown that matches your natural teeth’ shape, size, and color. Once the crown is ready, it will be attached to the abutment using dental cement or a screw. Your dentist will make any necessary adjustments to ensure a comfortable and secure fit.
After the Dental Implant Procedure
Recovery and healing time after dental implant surgery can vary depending on bone grafting needs and implant type. You can expect discomfort, bruising, and swelling, but these symptoms should improve with time.
During the healing period, it’s essential to maintain good oral hygiene and consume soft foods to avoid disturbing the implant site. Although not common, there can also be the risk of early dental implant failure.
Signs of dental implant failure may include:
- Pain or discomfort that does not improve over time.
- Swelling and inflammation that does not subside or worsens.
- Shifting or movement of the implant.
- Gum recession around the implant.
If you experience any of these signs, contact your oral surgeon immediately for an evaluation and potential treatment.
Care for Your Dental Implants
With proper care, dental implants can last a lifetime. Here are some tips to ensure the longevity of your new teeth:
- Follow good oral hygiene practices, including brushing twice daily and flossing daily.
- Use an antibacterial mouthwash to prevent infection around the implant site.
- Avoid hard or sticky foods that may damage your implants.
- Schedule regular check-ups with your dentist and oral surgeon to monitor the health of your implants.
- Quit smoking, as it can increase the risk of implant failure.
Schedule a Consultation with Oral Facial & Implant Specialists
Missing teeth can cause oral health problems and significantly impact self-esteem. Difficulties in eating, speaking, and feeling self-conscious about smiling can greatly affect one’s quality of life.
Oral Facial & Implant Specialists provide a more permanent solution to missing teeth with natural-looking dental implants. Restore your smile, confidence, and ability to enjoy life fully with our cutting-edge technology. Say goodbye to temporary fixes and embrace a long-lasting solution.
Frequently Asked Questions
The healing time after dental implant surgery can take three to six months, depending on your body’s healing ability. During this time, it’s vital to maintain good oral hygiene and follow your surgeon’s post-operative instructions.
To ensure proper healing and longevity of your dental implants, avoid hard or sticky foods that may damage them. Also, refrain from smoking as it can increase the risk of implant failure.
Once the healing process is complete and your implants have fused with your jawbone, you can eat most foods, including steak. However, it’s essential to continue practicing good oral hygiene and maintaining regular check-ups to ensure the health of your dental implants.
If you are searching for ‘dental implants near me’, contact Oral Facial & Implant Specialists.