Are you considering the use of dental implants to replace your missing or damaged teeth? If so, you may be wondering what you can expect from this oral surgery procedure. Below you can learn more about each of the five steps of the dental implant procedure.
Step 1: Evaluation
The first step in this process will be to get evaluated by your dentist in order to ensure dental implants are right for you. During this evaluation, your dentist will perform an oral exam and take x-rays. The purpose of these x-rays is to determine the health of your jawbone. If you have suffered bone loss in your jawbone, you may be required to have a bone graft done before you would be eligible for dental implants.
Step 2: Taking A Mold
Once your dentist has determined that you are a good candidate for dental implants, they will take a mold of your mouth. This mold will be used to fabricate a dental crown that perfectly matches the natural tooth that it will be replacing. This step is completely non-invasive and typically can be completed during the same appointment as your evaluation.
Step 3: Extraction
This next step in the process will only apply to individuals who still have their natural teeth in place. Before moving forward with the dental implant procedure, these teeth will need to be extracted. If you require multiple tooth extractions, your dentist will typically complete all of these extractions in a single visit in order to ensure they all heal at approximately the same time. This is very important since your gums and jaw must heal from the extraction process before moving on to the next step. Consequently, your dentist may provide you with temporary dentures to use until your implant procedure can be completed.
Step 4. Surgery
This is the step of the process in which your dental implants are actually placed into your jawbone. While this is a surgical procedure, it can often be completed right in the surgeon's office. Since a general anesthetic is used during this procedure, you will need to have someone drive you home from this appointment.
During this surgical step of the procedure, your dental implants will be placed into your jawbone through small incisions in your gums. In the months following this procedure, your jawbone will grow around the implants providing them with the same strength and stability as a natural tooth root.
Step 5: Attach Crown
Once you have healed from your surgery, you will return to your dentist one final time to have a dental crown attached to your implant. This crown will take the place of your tooth just as the implant took the place of your tooth root.
For more information on dental implants, contact a local dentist.