Dental Implant Procedure
The dental implant procedure is a minimally-invasive surgical treatment that replaces the root of a missing tooth with a titanium screw-shaped prosthetic. With a dental implant, we at Alexandra Garcia, DDS, MS can replace your missing tooth with an artificial one that looks, feels, and functions almost exactly like a natural healthy tooth.
The dental implant procedure requires several steps and is completed in several sessions. How long it takes to complete the entire procedure depends on the health and condition of your jawbone, but typically it takes several months from start to finish.
What to Expect During a Dental Implant Procedure
Dental implant surgery is an outpatient surgery which requires healing time in between session. It is a multi-step procedure that requires:
|Removal of the damaged tooth
|Preparation of the jawbone if required
|Placement of dental implants
|Osseointegration or fusion of the implant to the jawbone
|Placement of the abutment and artificial tooth
Many people may experience their jawbone becoming soft after they lose their teeth due to damage or disease. If this is the case with you, Dr. Garcia strongly suggests you get a bone grafting surgery before a dental implant.
That’s because your teeth exert a huge amount of pressure on your jaw when you bite down or chew and if the jaw is not stable enough, your implant may shift out of position and the surgery would fail.
At Alexandra Garcia, DDS, MS, we can rebuild your jawbone by taking bone grafting material from another location in your body, a donor, an animal, or lab-made synthetic substance.
We will transplant this bone graft material into the place in your jawbone that needs it. It may take several weeks to several months for your jaw to become strong enough to support a dental implant.
Dental Implant Placement
During the dental implant placement surgery, we will anesthetize the area of your mouth that requires the surgery. If the unhealthy tooth is still hanging on, we may extract it first. We will then make a small incision in your gums to expose the underlying bone. A small hole will be made in the bone and the dental implant will be placed into the jawbone.
We will then wait for the implant to fuse to the jawbone, in a process known as osseointegration. During this time, your tooth is still missing so we may give you a temporary denture to place there.
Once the bone and implant fusion process is complete, your jawbone will be stable enough to support your implant.
Placement of the Abutment
The abutment is the connection between the implant and the artificial crown. To place the abutment, we will open up your gums anew and screw on the abutment to the implant. This is a minor procedure with a small healing time, typically less than two weeks.
In some cases, the abutment may be placed along with the dental implant, so you may skip this step.
Placement of the Artificial Crown
Once your gums are healed, we will make an artificial crown for your implant. We will take the impressions of your mouth and send them to a dental lab where your artificial tooth is fabricated. This can take another two weeks.
When the tooth is completed, you will visit us again and we will cement your crown to the abutment.
Once this is done, you can use your tooth like normal.
What to Expect After a Dental Implant Procedure
You may experience a mild to moderate level of discomfort after every surgery session during a dental implant procedure. These symptoms include:
|Swelling and inflammation of the gums.
|Pain at the surgical site
|Minor bleeding for a couple of days
|Bruising of the gums and face
These discomforts can be easily managed with some over-the-counter painkillers. We may also prescribe you antibiotics to prevent infection. We will provide an estimate of how long the recovery process for implants will be at your first appointment.
Results of a Dental Implant Procedure
Up to 98% of dental implant procedures are successful. To ensure your dental implant lasts a long time, you need to exercise good oral hygiene and care and avoid damaging habits like excessive drinking of alcohol, smoking, and chewing on very hard substances.
You also need to keep your routine dental care appointments with us so that we can ensure all his right with your dental implant and overall oral health.
Learn More About Dental Implants
To schedule an appointment with us, call us at (346) 250-2930 today.
Caring For Dental Implants