If you have made the decision to replace a missing tooth through a dental implant procedure, you are in good company. It is estimated that nearly 3 million people currently have a dental implant, and that number is rapidly growing. Dental implants are a popular and effective method of replacing a missing tooth or teeth.
Think of a dental implant as an artificial tooth root holding an artificial tooth (usually a crown or dentures) in place. Dental implants are typically made of titanium and are about the size and shape of a screw. They are surgically implanted into the jaw bone, where they actually fuse with bone, making them nearly as strong as natural teeth.
What is the dental implant procedure?
While the dental implant procedure is surgical, it is relatively straightforward. Knowing what to expect can help put you at ease before the surgery is performed. Although the exact process of the dental implant procedure may vary from patient to patient, you can expect your procedure to look something like this:
Step One: X-Ray
First, the dentist will take an X-ray to determine if there are any signs of infection or other warning signs in the bone surrounding the tooth.
Step Two: Impressions
The dentist will take impressions of the mouth to determine the correct size and shape of the replacement tooth.
Step Three: Anesthesia
Anesthesia will be administered to reduce pain and anxiety during the procedure.
Step Four: Extraction
If a tooth still exists where the implant will be placed, the tooth will be extracted.
Step Five: Implant
A small hole will be drilled in the jaw bone and the implant will be inserted.
Step Six: Healing
As the jawbone heals, it will fuse with the implant through osseointegration. The healing time varies for each patient.
Step Seven: Abutment Placement
Once the dentist has determined the implant is stable enough, an abutment will be placed. This will serve as a connector to the permanent crown. In some instances, the abutment may be placed at the same time as the implant. For others, it may take up to several weeks.
Step Eight: Permanent Restoration
A permanent restoration (usually a porcelain crown) is placed on top of the abutment and the process is complete.
Whether you have already made the decision or need more information about the dental implant process, we can help you. Give us a call, contact us on social media, or use the form below to schedule an appointment today. Our caring and knowledgeable professionals can help you achieve your best smile.