The purpose of a dental implant procedure is to replace missing or damaged teeth with a natural looking artificial tooth. Contrary to many dental procedures, an implant surgery requires outpatient care as the operation is completed in several stages.
Dental Implant Initial Consultation
Before recommending dental implant treatment, your dentist will take a complete medical and dental evaluation. This is to ensure that you have no health conditions that would make surgery inadvisable. Once a solid plan has been developed, the dentist may use a variety of diagnostic tools such as CT scans and dental X-rays, so the implants will be placed with precision and minimal risk.
Bone Graft Operation
If the dentist determines that your jaw does not have a strong bone to support the dental implants, you may need a bone graft. A bone graft is when the dentist removes a small amount of bone from your hip or chin and places it into your jawbone. Only after your jawbone has completely healed from this operation will the dentist begin the procedures.
First Dental Implant Surgical Procedure
The dental implant process usually consists of two separate procedures. While you are under a local anesthetic, the first surgery involves securing the implant post in the jawbone. The dentist will make an incision in the gum tissue so that a hole can be created.
The implant is then placed into the hole and the gum is stitched back together. To ensure that the implant post will integrate firmly with the jaw bone, no further operations will be performed until the site has completely healed. During the healing process, new bone cells will grow around the implant post.
The function of these new bone cells is to provide stability for the implant post, which ultimately supports a proper restoration. Most dentists urge their patients to avoid wearing dental appliances for the first few days after surgery.
This is so that pressure will not be placed at the site. If you absolutely must use the dental appliances right away, position the device so that it does not touch the implant site.
Second Dental Implant Surgical Procedure
The dentist will perform the second surgical procedure three to eight months after the first one. The implant will be evaluated to determine if the post has successfully locked into the jawbone. If the implant has not been positioned into the jawbone properly, the dentist may need to remove it and either change the implant or place it in a different area.
On the other hand, if the implant post has been successfully positioned, the second operation will involve creating an opening in the gum to expose the implant. The dentist will then place a post known has a healing cap into the area. A healing cap enables a tooth to be attached above the gum line into the mouth. The healing cap will also be used to shape the gum tissue and give support to the crown or bridge.
The final step in this process is to place an abutment into the implant so that the crown or bridge can be held securely. The dentist will also create your final prosthesis at this stage.
After the dental implant procedures have been completed, you should continue your oral care routine.