What to Expect When Getting a Dental Implant

Dental implants are a state-of-the-art solution for replacing missing teeth and restoring both function and aesthetics to your smile because they are durable and natural-looking. If you’re missing one or more teeth due to injury, decay, or disease, a dental implant might be necessary to prevent bone loss, maintain facial structure, and ensure the health of surrounding teeth. Let’s take a deep dive into everything you need to know about dental implants!

Who Is a Candidate?

Ideal candidates for dental implants are those in good overall health, with sufficient jawbone density to support the implant and no active periodontal disease.

A Collaborative Process

The process of getting an implant involves both your dentist, Dr. Abrams, and an oral surgeon. Dr. Abrams will handle the creation and fitting of the artificial crown, while the oral surgeon will perform the implant surgery. This initial consultation will determine if dental implants are suitable for you and outline the roles of each specialist.

Step 1: Initial Consultation

During your first visit, Dr. Abams will conduct a thorough examination of your oral health. This includes X-rays or 3D images to assess your jawbone, gums, and the anatomy of your mouth. The goal is to determine if you are a good candidate for implants and to create a personalized treatment plan.

Step 2: Preparation

Typically done with your oral surgeon, this step involves evaluating the recommendations made by Dr. Abrams in the initial consultation. If you have a damaged tooth that needs to be replaced, it may first need to be extracted. Some patients might require a bone graft if their jawbone isn’t sufficient enough to support the implant. Bone grafting is a process where a type of bone material is added to your jawbone, and it may take a few months to fully heal.

Step 3: Implant Placement

The implant surgery, conducted by the oral surgeon, is usually performed under local anesthesia, and sedation options are available if you’re anxious. During the procedure, the surgeon will make a small incision in your gum to expose the bone. A hole is drilled, and the titanium implant post is inserted into the bone, acting as a new “root” for your tooth.

Step 4: Healing and Osseointegration

After the implant is placed, the healing process begins, known as osseointegration, where the jawbone grows around the implant, securing it firmly in place. This process can take several months, but it’s crucial for providing the strong foundation needed for your new tooth. A healing abutment is placed on top of the implant to shape the gums.

Step 5: Artificial Tooth Placement

This is the step where Dr. Abrams gets involved again. After your gums heal around the abutment, an impression or scan of your mouth will be taken to create the artificial tooth, or crown. The crown is designed to match the color, shape, and size of your natural teeth for a seamless appearance.

Step 6: Follow-up and Care

Once your crown is placed, your new tooth should work just like a natural tooth. Follow-up visits are necessary to ensure the implant is functioning well and that your bite is correct. Proper oral hygiene and regular dental checkups are essential to maintain the health of the implant and surrounding teeth.

Getting a dental implant is a several-month commitment but can provide a lifetime of benefits. It’s designed to restore both the function and appearance of your teeth effectively. Ready to start? Contact us to schedule your initial consultation with Dr. Abrams and take the first step toward a healthier, happier smile!

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