What Is The Process For Getting Dental Implants?

If you have a missing tooth, you might want to replace it with a dental implant. Implants look and function like natural teeth, and don't require filing down adjacent teeth in order to fit crowns for a dental bridge. Here is the process for getting a dental implant so you can become more familiar with it before the procedure.

X-Rays and Prep Work

The first step in the dental implant process is to go through the prep stage. This begins with x-rays to look at the bone structure where the missing root exists to make sure there is enough bone to support the implant. If not, you might need to get a bone graft first. Another thing the x-ray looks at is the nearby teeth and the approximate bite in order to make a crown that will fit with your other teeth properly. Once this has been done, you will then be ordered to return for the first official phase of the treatment.

Placing the Implant

Getting an implant is done in multiple phases, starting with actually placing the implant. You will either be asleep for the procedure or simply be numbed with anesthesia, depending on your comfort level. If you have severe anxiety, requesting sleep dentistry is likely a better option for you. During this phase, an incision is made in your gums so the oral surgeon can reach the bone. They will then drill a hole into the bone and implant the steel post. After that is done, the area is sutured up and you return home for the osseointegration process.

Going Through Osseointegration

Osseointegration is the healing process for the dental implant. This can last up to a few months and allows the bone to heal around the metal post, fusing to it to keep it in place. You may have some soreness in the beginning, but soon you barely notice the area since the gums are sutured shut. It is not uncommon to visit the dentist a few times during osseointegration to take x-rays and see how the progress is.

Completing the Implant

The last stage may be completed in one or multiple visits. The gums are once again opened up to reveal the top of the metal post. An abutment is screwed onto this post, followed by placing a crown. You may have a temporary crown for a couple weeks until the permanent crown is made if it hasn't been done already. Speak with someone to learn more about this topic