Most patients find the process of dental implant surgery relatively quick and relatively pain-free; however, some discomfort should be expected following the procedure.
As part of the healing process, implant and jawbone will combine over time through osseointegration; however, this may take several months.
Once your gums have healed, your doctor will attach an abutment to the implant and take impressions of your mouth to create artificial replacement teeth, implant-supported bridges or dentures.
1. Tooth Extraction
At the core of tooth implants procedures is a comprehensive dental exam. Your dentist will use X-rays and models of your jawbone and teeth to assess its condition; additionally they will determine which teeth need replacing as part of this process and may consult other specialists like periodontists or oral and maxillofacial surgeons as necessary.
Your dentist will need to remove the damaged tooth and may suggest getting a bone graft before making a surgical incision to place an artificial root that looks just like yours – this process of osseointegration ensures it will become an integral part of the bone tissue over time.
Before the procedure begins, either IV sedation or oral medication will be provided to relax you and help ensure a successful outcome. Be sure to follow any prescribed painkillers or antibiotics prescribed by your physician as this could significantly impact healing processes in your body.
2. Implant Placement
Before your implant can be placed, your dentist must assess your gums and jawbone to make sure they can support it. They’ll discuss other tooth replacement solutions like dentures and bridges if an implant isn’t suitable, while bone grafting may also be required so the implant can be successfully inserted.
At the beginning of your procedure, local anaesthesia will be administered so you won’t feel anything. After cutting through gum tissue and drilling into jawbone to create space for titanium screws to be installed into place, they’ll secure them into position using screws.
Implants require several months to fully bond with the jawbone through a process called osseointegration, during which you may experience sore mouth or minor bleeding at the implant site. You should follow any dietary recommendations and apply ice packs in order to reduce swelling in this healing period – it’s also important not to chew hard or use tobacco products during this period as doing so could damage it further.
3. Crown Placement
Once your implant has had enough time to heal, your dentist will remove some gum tissue to expose the implant and secure its position by attaching an adapter called an abutment atop it.
This will ensure the implant and new crown can withstand normal chewing pressure, while protecting its site from bacteria that could potentially lead to infection.
Your dentist will use an abutment to secure an artificial tooth, known as a crown, that matches up perfectly with your existing natural teeth in terms of shape, size and color for an inconspicuous result.
Before attaching the crown, your dentist will take impressions of your mouth and remaining teeth to create the most realistic-looking replacement tooth possible. They’ll then cement it in place, leaving you ready for the next phase of your procedure.
4. Abutment Placement
An abutment, or connecting piece, is typically placed over the post portion of an implant. Your dentist may place this piece during initial surgery (1-stage procedure) or after healing has taken place (2-stage procedure).
The abutment, constructed from titanium that is hypoallergenic and compatible with body tissues, plays an integral role as it connects an implant to its crown.
Maintaining healthy gums around an abutment requires following instructions from your surgeon for cleaning the area during this healing period. It’s crucial that you follow his/her advice regarding cleaning this region during this period.
Once the abutment is in place, it’s time to create your new tooth (also called a crown). Your dentist will create this replacement using impressions taken of your existing teeth and an impression taken of the jawbone model; additionally X-ray images will be taken. Your custom-made crown should look and feel just like its natural counterpart.