The dental implant procedure is the most sought after dental procedure used to replace lost tooth. This entails the placement of an artificial tooth root into your jawbone which will then hold the artificial tooth. Dental implants are well-recommended by dentists because it is one of the tooth replacement procedures that are friendliest to neighboring teeth.
Dental implants look and feel natural. They can even make you forget you even lost a tooth. This will give you more personal and professional confidence since you don’t have to worry about your lost tooth anymore.
The process of placing dental implants will differ based on the issue at hand. Are you replacing a single tooth or several teeth at the same time? Do you have enough bone in your jaw to support your implant? If not, you may need to undergo preliminary bone grafting surgery before your implant surgery.
The Four Stages of Dental Implant Treatment
- The Preliminary Evaluation Stage
- The Root Implant Stage
- The Dental Implant Stage
- Recovery Period
1. The Preliminary Evaluation Stage
The dental implant procedure requires multiple visits to your dentist. At the first of these visits, you and your dentist should go through a preliminary plan on how the rest of the procedure will go. Since the procedure is expected to be painful, your pain tolerance levels should be considered so you will be provided with enough anesthetics. At this point, you and your dentist will also select the color of your implants.
In your initial visits, your dentist will check for any reasons that may disqualify you from the procedure. Those who smoke a lot will likely be asked by their dentist to give up either the procedure or the cigarettes. Although there are no specific risks, studies have shown that dental implant surgeries have lower success rates in patients who smoke.
Another possible cause for disqualification is diabetes. Those who are diabetic can still get dental implants, but the risks are higher. Diabetics do not recover fast, so when the first surgery is conducted, the gums might not heal fast enough for a safe completion of the rest of the procedure.
2. The Root Implant Stage
After everything has been discussed and it has been determined that you should go on with your surgery, you will be scheduled for the first one. In the first surgery, a screw-like piece of titanium will be implanted into your jaw. The dentist will make an incision on the gums then drill through the bone under it. The post will be implanted and left there for at least 6 months to allow the bone and gums to close over the root implant.
3. The Dental Implant Stage
The initial surgery will be followed by two other less extensive surgeries. First, your dentist will access the top part of the root implant and attach a post to it. This post will extend out from your gums. It is what will connect the root to the crown that will serve as the main artificial tooth. The last surgery is the placement of the crown.
4. Recovery Period
After all surgeries are completed, you will now enter a recuperation period. The length of this period will depend on the number of implants you had placed. Usually, the recovery period takes several months, during which you will need to stay on soft foods only. During this time, the implant has to get fused to the bone completely in a process called osseointegration. After this, your dentist will give you the go signal to return to your normal eating habits.
Some Reminders Before A Dental Implant Procedure
Before you have a dental implant done, make sure you ask your dentist about any other option you may have to replace your missing tooth. There are several tooth replacement procedures. Although dental implants are usually deemed as the best, the appropriateness of a procedure depends entirely on specific situational factors. Thus, for each case, there may be a different procedure that’s most appropriate.
Even if the dental implant procedure is perfectly safe and has a high success rate, it is still more invasive than other tooth replacement options. If your situation calls for something easier to manage, you may not have to undergo the painful surgery and recovery time of dental implants. Do not take dental implants lightly since this is a surgical procedure.