Tooth Replacement – The Steps for a Dental Implant Procedure
One of the most common treatment options for missing teeth is the dental implant. This permanent replacement has a natural appearance and feel that mimics real teeth. Implants are typically done for patients who have lost teeth due to severe disease and decay as well as injury.
Dental implant procedure steps
Patients who plan on getting implants may have questions regarding this tooth replacement option. The procedure for dental implants involves multiple steps that are usually performed over a period of time.
The first step for the dental implant procedure involves a thorough oral and overall health assessment by a dentist to ensure a patient is a good candidate for implants. The vast majority of people can get dental implants; however, there are some patients who do not qualify. Patients who smoke, have untreated gum disease, or have uncontrolled diabetes are at risk of complications from the procedure. If a patient's jawbone is not strong enough for implants, they may need bone grafting prior to the implant surgery.
Once a dentist has determined that a patient is a good candidate for implants, the first part of the implant placement procedure can be done. This involves placing a titanium implant into the jawbone to act as a tooth's root. A temporary crown may be placed afterward. After the implant is placed, patients need to wait around four to six months for the mouth to heal and for osseointegration to complete. Osseointegration is the process in which the jawbone grows and fuses with the implant to provide a stable base that works the same as a natural tooth's root does.
After the healing process and osseointegration has completed, an abutment is placed. This is a connector that attaches to the implant and provides the base for the crown to be adhered to. The procedure for the abutment involves reopening the gum and attaching it to the implant. The healing process for this usually takes about two weeks. A crown is then manufactured and attached to the abutment to serve as the replacement tooth.
After the dental implant procedure is complete, patients may experience some swelling in the gums and face, as well as minor bleeding and pain. These are typically mild and last for a short amount of time after surgery. Over-the-counter medications can help with any discomfort. Dentists recommend soft food in the days following treatment.
It is important for patients to maintain proper oral hygiene and schedule routine dental appointments after receiving implants. Patients should be careful and avoid eating hard foods or chewing ice as this can possibly crack a crown. It is also recommended to limit the consumption of foods and beverages that stain teeth.
Dental implants are a great treatment option for patients with missing teeth and help to restore a beautiful and healthy smile. While the procedure takes some time to complete, results can last for a patient's lifetime.
Request an appointment here: https://www.torreyhillsperio.com or call Torrey Hills Periodontal Group at (858) 925-1188 for an appointment in our San Diego office.
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