Dental implant surgery is the top dental procedure being done to replace lost tooth or teeth. Dental implants are placed through a surgical procedure that takes a series of steps. Despite this, it has become the top choice for those who need to replace a missing tooth. Dentists recommend it a lot because of its many advantages over other tooth replacement options.
While dentures can slip and bridges can do permanent damage to surrounding teeth, dental implants stand alone, does not affect the neighboring teeth, and will never embarrass you when you’re eating or speaking. Once the implants are in and sufficient time for healing has passed, you are free to forget that you even have an artificial tooth.
However, surgeries tend to sound scary or, at the least, intimidating, despite the simplicity of the procedure. It helps, however, to know exactly what the procedure will entail.
The Steps in Dental Implant Surgery
- Fittings and Preparations
- First Surgery – Placement of Implant
1. Fittings and Preparations
Before your dentist puts you into surgery, he or she will make sure that everything is ready and that you are well-prepared and well-informed about it. A checkup will be done to prep the field for the surgery.
Sometimes, if the damaged tooth is still attached, an extraction would have to be done. Aside from that, in some cases, the preparation stage determines whether the patient would also need a bone graft or a sinus augmentation so that there would be no problems in placing the implant.
2. First Surgery – Placement of Implant
The first surgery is done to make the implant. The implant is a screw-like piece of titanium; it is implanted into the jawbone and takes the place of the tooth. This surgery can be done in the dentist’s office. The dentist will have to use a local anesthetic for the procedure.
After the surgery, you would have to wait for around four months before the next step in the procedure. These four months will serve as the healing and recovery period to allow the bone to adjust to the titanium screw and the gum to close over it. This process is called osseointegration.
Most of the problems associated with dental implant surgery usually comes up at this point. One of the problems some people experience is nerve pain, which occurs when the material has gotten too close to the nerves under the gums. If such problems arise, the dentist would have to do another surgery to fix them.
2. Second Surgery – The Connecting Material
After the healing period has elapsed, your dentist will conduct a second, less invasive surgery. The dentist will expose the top of the titanium post so it can be attached to a post that extends out from the gums. This post will connect the titanium screw to the crown that will be used.
This is a shorter procedure, but it still requires local anesthesia.
3. Restorative Stage – Attaching the Crown
The final step is known as the restorative stage wherein the crown that will serve as the fake tooth will be placed by attaching it to the extending post. The crown is shaped and colored like your natural teeth so no one would know the difference. And since it is attached to an implanted post, it will be as sturdy and immovable as the rest of your actual teeth.
The restorative stage comprises of several visits. First, your dentist has to take impressions. Second, the prosthetic tooth or crown would have to be custom-made based on the said impressions. Finally, the crown will be attached and you, or anyone else, won’t even see the difference.
Success Rates of Dental Implants
Dental implants would not be widely recommended by dentists if they are not truly beneficial. A missing tooth can have a large effect on your self confidence, and dentures will only remind you regularly of the damage. Implants, on the other hand, make sure you regain your confidence.
Aside from the benefits of dental implant surgery, dentists also recommend it based on actual, specific, and verifiable facts and statistics. So far, dental implants have a very minimal failure or rejection rate of only 1% to 2%. The success rates, therefore, give dentists confidence to help bring back your confidence through dental implants.