Dental implant surgery is a restorative dental procedure that goes beyond fixing the appearance of your teeth. An implant restores the function of a tooth that has been extracted, fallen out or broken apart from decay with an artificial tooth. If there are only a few teeth missing, not enough for dentures, dental implant surgery is a good alternative.
The procedure for dental implant surgery isn’t completed in one sitting, and the procedure isn’t the same for everyone. It depends on what kind of implant you will be receiving and the structure of your mouth and jawbone. You will have a few consultations with your dentist before going through with the procedure so they can determine what is best for you and your smile. Dental implants are placed within the jawbone to act as the roots of the missing tooth, and then the artificial tooth is placed where the vacant spot is. Without a dental implant, teeth may begin to shift with the extra space left by the missing tooth.
To be a good candidate for implant surgery, you must have a tooth missing, healthy gum tissue, a fully-developed jawbone and no underlying health issues that can interfere with the procedure. During the consultation, the dentist will determine what kind of implant is right for you – but sometimes a bone graft is needed during this process.
If you need a bone graft, your jawbone will need to heal before the process continues. The next step is to insert the metal post into the jawbone, where the dentist cuts open the gums to expose the bone and drills holes into it for the metal post, which will serve as the roots of the tooth. This will need time to heal, a may be given a temporary crown or artificial and removable tooth to get used to the look and feel of your new implant or improve the appearance of your smile. It can take up to six months of healing for the crown to be finally placed as your new artificial tooth.
The post needs to grow into the rest of the jawbone and create a strong foundation. If your situation requires bone grafting, the entire procedure can take up to nine months to complete. It’s important to stay in touch with your dentist between your visits through the process and to follow any guidelines they assign to you, from preparing to the surgery to recovering afterward. If there are certain things you should abstain from doing or foods you should be avoiding, follow these rules to ensure a healthy healing process.
If you have a damaged tooth that you suspect may need to be extracted or have a missing tooth, dental implants could be the best route for you. If you’d prefer an implant or two over dentures or simply can’t have dentures for medical reasons, a safely-administered dental implant surgery may be the right choice for you. Schedule a consultation with us today to discuss your options and find out which procedure is best for you and your smile.