Understanding the process of getting an implant
If you’ve been considering getting a dental implant to replace a missing tooth, you might be curious about the process. Here’s what you can expect to get your smile back again!
Initial consultation and examination
The first step is to schedule an appointment to determine if you are a good candidate for an implant. During your initial consultation, the doctor will examine your mouth and take x-rays of your jaw to check for bone loss.
If you have sufficient bone structure to support dental implants and no medical conditions that prevent you from being a candidate, your oral surgeon will discuss tooth replacement options and explain the full treatment process. If it is determined that you are not a viable candidate at this time, the doctor will present treatment options that can prepare you for implants at a later time.
At this time, you will have the opportunity to ask any questions about the timeline or the surgery itself. When you’re ready to move forward, you can schedule a date for implant placement.
Implant placement is a standard surgical technique that is typically performed under local anesthetic. Dental implant surgery involves exposing the bone, drilling a hole, and then installing the metal post into your jaw. Typically, you will be given a temporary tooth and need to give your mouth time to heal before moving on to the next step.
Healing and bone fusion
The healing process takes between three and nine months. You need to wait for your dental implant to fuse to your jawbone. Once the implant is stable, it will be ready for an abutment.
Attaching the abutment
After the healing period is complete, a small extension called an abutment is connected to your dental implant. The abutment is what will eventually hold your new permanent tooth in place.
Your dentists will take impressions your teeth and the abutment to assist the lab technician who will fabricate your new tooth.
Once your new tooth is complete, your dentist will load it onto the abutment permanently to restore your smile. You can then eat, chew and care for your crown just like you do your natural teeth.