While dental implants are considered to be the most effective solution to tooth loss to date, the details of the process are largely unknown to most people. Even though your needs will likely vary from another individual’s, you’ll still need to go through the same basic steps to ensure successful and long-lasting implantation. Before you come to our office for a consultation, feel free to learn the necessary steps of your dental implant treatment from a dentist in Forest below!
During your consultation, you’ll get the chance to go over exactly what teeth you intend to replace, how many you’d like to replace, and which restoration we believe would best meet your needs. The planning stages of your implant treatment are vital to ensuring success. If you need to have other treatments performed in order to make implants viable (i.e. bone grafts or periodontal therapy), then the consultation will confirm this beforehand.
Keep in mind that you do not necessarily need an implant to hold every single tooth you need to replace. In most cases, about four to six implants can anchor a full-arch restoration and two implants can hold a three crown bridge.
Prior to surgery, you’ll be given a local anesthetic to numb any pain. During the surgery, a small incision is made in the gums so that the bone tissue underneath is exposed. Then, the implant is placed and the tissue is closed to allow for it to integrate with your jaw. Most implant surgeries are completed in a single visit, however they can take multiple hours to complete depending on the number of implants you need to place.
Depending on where the implant was placed, the process of osseointegration can take anywhere between three and six months to complete. Osseointegration refers to the bone tissue inside the jaw integrating with the titanium post of the implant. Since titanium is biocompatible, you won’t have to worry about your body rejecting the implant during the healing stage.
If you intended on having an implant-retained denture, we can place an All-on-4 restoration the same day as your surgery. However, other options will not have a restoration placed as the implant is not strong enough to anchor it this early on. After the bone has fully healed, we can place the abutment on top of the implant and give your gum tissue time to heal around it. The abutment is designed to keep the restoration stabilized while chewing, grinding and biting.
After all oral structures have properly healed, we can take impressions of your implant and abutment in order to create a natural-looking restoration. Whether you’re replacing one tooth, multiple teeth or your whole arch, you can rest knowing that it will look and feel natural after placement. Once we’ve fabricated your new permanent restoration, attached it to the implant, and checked your bite, we’ll go over all necessary at-home care habits you’ll need to take on. Thankfully, these habits are nearly identical to what you performed prior to placement.