The Implant Restoration (Single Tooth Replacement) procedure is a long lasting option that helps restore a missing tooth and allows the patient to smile confidently again. This procedure is generally completed over multiple visits.
Prior to getting a dental implant
Anyone who wants to get a dental implant needs to have an impeccable oral health, healthy gums and adequate bone in order to properly support the implant itself. In the event your bone is too thin or too soft, you’ll need a bone graft.
The initial stage includes consultation and planning, but also the imaging of our teeth and the initial examination. The implantologist will ask the patient about his medical history and also talk about his treatment options.
It’s important to note that the dental implant can be placed without or with a built-in abutment that can then be attached to the replacement tooth. For functional and aesthetic purposes, the patient can have a temporary tooth placed while the dental implant integrates with the bone.
How do they work?
A dental implant consists of several parts as we’re going to see below:
- The implant itself, which is placed in the lower or upper jawbone and is made of titanium.
- The abutment, which is made of porcelain, gold or titanium and attached (using a screw) to the implant.
- Lastly, the restoration is basically a crown made of porcelain combined with a specific type of alloy. The crown is usually cemented or screwed onto the abutment.
The implanting process
The dental implanting process can take quite a bit, depending on several factors. For instance, if you’re a candidate for the classic method of placing an implant, then everything is going to be done in about 6 months for the upper jaw and 5 months for the lower jaw. However, if you require bone grafts, then the process can last up to a year or more.
Using a different technique, healing caps and dental implants can be placed at the same time. So if you opt for mini dental implants, your doctor is going to place them, including the denture or bridge and crown in the same visit.
Lastly, if you go with the traditional method, you’ll need to go through 2 procedures with 3 to 6 months between them. So in your first visit, the dentist will drill a hole in your gum and bone in order to place the implant. Next, the gum is stitched in order to close the incision.
In your second visit, a 2nd incision is made in order to screw the healing cap on in order rot help with healing the surrounding gum tissue. When the tissue is healed, the healing caps are removed in order for the abutment to be screwed into the implant.
Prior to getting any work done, you have to see a prosthodontist who is an expert in placing dental implants. During your visit, you’ll go through several examinations in order to determine whether you’re the right candidate for this type of procedure. Some of them include a CT scan, creating impressions of your gums and teeth, taking X-rays, reviewing your dental and medical history, etc. As previously mentioned, if you don’t have enough bone for the procedure, you’re going to need to get more.
There are also cases when patients may suffer from different types of gum diseases and if this applies to you, then you cannot get a dental implant before your treat it first. That’s because untreated gum diseases directly influence the dental implanting process.
After the procedure, most patients can return to work the next day. In order to control the pain, the implantologist will prescribe some pain medication which can be taken for a few days after the procedure.
As you can see, getting a dental implant is not really a fast procedure and you need to be patient about it. You also have to take into account the fact that you may or may not be a candidate for it, so you do need to be realistic about the duration of the entire treatment and prepare yourself for the wait accordingly. The good news is that after getting a dental implant, you’ll have a much better smile and a lot more self confidence!