Dental implants are a permanent solution for missing teeth. Unlike some other restorative dental procedures, placing dental implants requires several visits to complete. If you’re considering a dental implant, here are the steps that you can expect during the process.
The process of getting a dental implant starts with an evaluation. We start by a comprehensive medical history review, a 3D CT scan of the jaw structure, an extraoral and intra oral examination, teeth, occlusion and gums examination.
Not everyone is eligible for a dental implant for a variety of reasons, including having too little viable bone material left in your jawbone. Dental implants need to be placed in healthy mouths. If you need root canals and fillings in other teeth, you will likely need to address those other dental concerns first before getting a dental implant.
In some cases where you don’t have enough bone to support a dental implant, a bone graft can be completed to restore the bone to place a dental implant. This could mean using another part of your jawbone, which is less common, or using a synthetic material (most common) during the bone graft. Then you will need to wait a few weeks or a couple months for the bone graft to heal before the dental implant can be placed.
Once you’re ready, your dentist or oral surgeon will place the dental implant directly into your jaw. How long the actual surgery will take depends on the complexity, location, and the number of dental implants to be placed.
Your mouth will need some time to heal after a dental implant is placed. On average, this healing process takes three to six months. It is possible that the recovery process could take even longer than this in some complex cases. Your dentist will give you specific instructions on how to care for your dental implant, which you’ll need to keep particularly clean to promote an optimum healing environment.
Abutment and Crown
After your mouth heals around your dental implant, it is time to have an abutment and crown placed. Sometimes a temporary crown is placed earlier in the process. However, the dental implant is just the anchor placed in your jawbone. You will still need an abutment and crown to finish the process and have your dental implant look like the rest of your teeth.
The vast majority of patients who undergo the process of getting a dental implant indicate that the process was worth the wait. It might take more time to choose a dental implant over a traditional crown or bridge, but the benefits are many. From maintaining better long term dental health to having a tooth that looks like your other teeth, a dental implant can be a great solution to replace missing teeth. If you’re a candidate for a dental implant, be sure to weigh the benefits against the more extensive process.
Ready to Get Started?
If you’re ready to get started with a full-service dental practice that offers dental, oral surgery, and orthodontic services from one office, call Smile Haus at 818-348-6068 to schedule your first appointment.