When you have a dental implant surgery coming up, it may be tricky for you to figure out what to expect. You may have a number of questions about what to expect during the procedure, and all of these unanswered questions only lead to a sense of anxiety.
In this article, we will give you a rundown of the usual dental implant procedure depending on what sort of work you might need to have done.
An Overview of the Dental Implant Procedure
Here, we will give you a brief overview of the process. The next sections will go into more detail about what happens depending on a few different factors.
- You will have your damaged tooth taken out of your mouth.
- Your jawbone will be prepared for surgery. In some cases, this may require bone grafting.
- Once your jawbone has healed, you will have a dental implant post inserted. This implant post is made out of metal and will be put into your jawbone.
- You will go through a period of healing. This period of time may last for up to several months.
- Your oral surgeon will place on the abutment. An abutment is an extension of the implant post. In a few cases when the implant is highly stable, you can get it done at the same time that the implant is inserted.
- Once the soft tissue has healed, your dentist will make a mold of your teeth. They will also make a mold of your jawbone.
- The final tooth or teeth will be placed in.
When Bone Grafting is Needed
Sometimes, in the event that your jawbone is too soft or not thick enough, it may be possible that you will need some bone grafting done. This will have to happen before you can have a dental implant put into your mouth. This is because chewing puts a lot of pressure on the bone; if it is unable to support the implant, the surgery would be a failure.
A bone graft provides a more solid place for the implant to sit. When you have a bone grafted, a piece of bone will be removed from a different part of your body or from your jaw. It will then be transplanted into your jawbone.
A different option for this is to use an artificial bone to put in the necessary area. It can take more than a few months for this bone to grow enough new bone to allow it to support the implant.
In a few cases, you may only need a minor bone graft. This can be done at the same time as the surgery for the implant. It all depends on the condition of your jawbone.
Placing the Dental Implant
During the implant surgery, your surgeon will make a cut that will open up your gum. This will expose the jawbone underneath. Holes will be drilled into the bone where the dental implant post needs to placed. This post will serve as the root of your tooth, so it must be implanted deeply into the bone.
You will still have a gap where your tooth is missing. A unique kind of partial and temporary denture can be placed there for visual reasons if you would like. You can take this denture out and clean it while you are asleep.
Waiting for Bone Growth
After the metal implant has been put into the bone, a process called osseointegration occurs. This is when the jawbone grows and becomes a single part with the surface of your new dental implant.
This process often takes around seven months and can give your new tooth a solid base like your roots do for natural teeth. This is the part of the process that takes the longest to heal. It is the reason for the notoriously long wait times. It is also the reason that many people choose to go a different route away from dental implants.
Placing the Abutment
After the osseointegration process is complete, there may be additional surgery that is needed. This is for placing the abutment. The abutment is the part where the crown of the tooth will eventually be attached. It is a minor surgery that is usually done in an outpatient setting with local anesthesia.
Placing the abutment means:
- Your oral surgeon will open your gums again and expose the dental implant
- They will attach the abutment to the implant
- The gum tissue is once again closed around the abutment but is not closed over it
In a few cases, this abutment will be attached to the dental implant metal post. This means that you can avoid this extra step.
Choosing Your New Artificial Teeth
When the abutment has been placed, your gums will need to heal for another week or two before you can have the artificial tooth attached. Then, you will have impressions made from your teeth. These are used to make a crown for your tooth.
Choose a type of artificial teeth that you want to use. These include:
Removable. This is similar to a removable denture. It comes with an artificial tooth surrounded by “gums.” It is mounted on top of a metallic frame.
Fixed. This type of tooth will be permanently cemented or screwed into an implant abutment. It won’t be able to be removed during cleaning times or while you sleep.
After the Procedure
When the procedure is done, you will notice a few different things such as:
- Bruising of your gums and your skin
- Pain at the implant site
- Swelling of your gums and face
- Minor bleeding around the tooth
If these problems only seem to get worse, it is important that you get in touch with your oral surgeon; they may need to prescribe antibiotics or pain medicine.
In this article, we have discussed the dental implant procedure. We have covered a number of different parts of the process in detail and in brief. Have you ever had a dental implant procedure? Do you have one coming up in the future? Leave your comments and questions in the comments section below.