Procedure of Dental Implant Surgery
Stages of Dental Implant Surgery
A dental implant procedure is an outpatient surgery. The implant is made of titanium and other materials that fuse with your jawbone and imitate the root of a tooth. This artificial root allows the dentist to secure your replacement teeth so they feel stable and blend in with your surrounding teeth. Getting dental implants requires several appointments, including a consultation, an appointment to place the implant, and another to attach the new teeth.
If you’re healthy and your dentist determines that you’re a good candidate for implants, he or she will schedule the procedure to take place either at the dentist’s office under local anaesthesia or at a hospital under general anaesthesia, depending on the patient’s particular dental health needs and the amount of surgery that is required.
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The process of getting a dental implant takes several months to complete, and it involves these three phases:
- Initial Consultation
- The very first thing you will need to do is to meet with your dental implant dentist for an initial consultation. During this appointment, they will do a comprehensive dental exam, take an X-ray of your mouth, and then take impressions of your teeth.
- After this, your dentist will talk with you about the recommended treatment plan, going over the steps of the procedure, the timeframe for everything, and what to do during recovery. You may also discuss whether or not you need a bone graft. During this consultation, you’ll schedule the first stage of the procedure.
- Bone Grafting and Teeth Removal
- If you’ve had a bone graft, it can take 4-12 months before your jaw is ready for the first implant. This time allows your bone to heal properly.
- Implant Placement
- Next, you’ll be ready for getting the implant, which is the metal screw that goes into your bone and acts as the anchor for the whole prosthesis. This procedure can take 1-2 hours and you’ll be asleep the whole time thanks to anaesthesia.
- After you’ve had the implant placed in your jawbone, the healing process can take up to five months for the lower jaw and up to seven months for the upper jaw. Once your mouth is healed, you’ll be ready for the next stage.
- Placing the Healing Collar and/or Temporary Crown
- After the implants have fused with your jawbone, you’re ready for the next stage, which is getting a healing collar and possibly a temporary crown. The dentist will place the healing collar (also called a healing cap) on the head of the implant – this helps guide the gum tissue in the proper way to heal. It’s a round piece of metal that keeps the gums away from the implant. This collar will stay on for 10-14 days.
- After this time, in which your tissue should have healed, the dentist will remove it and move onto the next step.
- Placing the Abutment
- Next comes the abutment, which is the part that screws into the implant and will support the crown. Once the abutment is placed, your dentist will take another impression of the abutment for each replacement tooth. Then you’ll get a temporary crown while your tissues continue to heal and form around the artificial tooth as with your natural teeth. You will wear the temporary crown for four to six weeks. During this time, your permanent crown will be made.
- Placing the Permanent Crown
- Crowns, which are the tooth-looking part, can either be screwed into the abutment or cemented in place. The latter option typically looks better and more natural as there is no screw hole, which can be visible at certain angles. As far as crowns go, there are two main types you and your dentist can choose.
- Removable Crown
- Removable artificial teeth are white with pink plastic material to simulate a natural tooth and the surrounding gum tissue. It’s typically mounted on a metal frame, which snaps into the abutment. This means you can remove it for daily cleaning.
- Fixed Crown
- With a fixed crown, the artificial tooth either screws into the abutment or is cemented on, and this is permanent. You will not be able to remove a fixed crown for cleaning. Most of the time, this type of crown is much stronger and stable than a removable crown.
- Whether you have dental implant surgery in one stage or multiple stages, you may experience some of the typical discomforts associated with any type of dental surgery, such as:
- Swelling of your gums and face
- Bruising of your skin and gums
- Pain at the implant site
- Minor bleeding
- You may need pain medications or antibiotics after dental implant surgery. If swelling, discomfort or any other problem gets worse in the days after surgery, contact your oral surgeon. After each stage of surgery, you may need to eat soft foods while the surgical site heals. Typically, your surgeon will use stitches that dissolve on their own. If your stitches aren’t self-dissolving, your doctor removes them.
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