In simple terms, when you undertake a teeth implants process, you are in fact, replacing a natural tooth root with a tooth root made from metal. And while it doesn’t contain nerves and blood vessels like a living root, dental implants do mimic the natural tooth structure to provide stability, longevity and (when topped with a dental crown), a natural-looking appearance.
If you are intrigued and are considering undertaking a dental implant procedure, then in this post, we’ll talk about what you can expect, before, during and after surgery.
Before Dental Implant Surgery
The first step in the teeth implants process is to have a consultation with your chosen dentist. They will take a close look at your medical history, your current state of oral health and your overall health to see whether you are a good candidate – this being a person who is in relatively good health with no sign of gum disease or bone loss.
The reason for this is that dental implants need to be placed into healthy and plentiful bone to ensure best success rates. If you do currently have periodontal issues or have a lack of bone, it doesn’t always rule you out. Instead, it may simply mean that these pre-existing conditions need to be dealt with first before any dental implant surgery can take place.
If, for example, you are a smoker, you’ll be made aware of the need to quit smoking before any dental implants procedure can take place. This is vital to protect the restoration during the early stages of your teeth implants process.
Finally, your dentist should give you a detailed treatment plan of what you can expect including treatments for pre-existing conditions, a breakdown of timescales and, of course, the overall cost.
Treatment of pre-existing conditions
The ideal scenario for anyone considering dental implants is that they are placed into a healthy mouth. Unfortunately, many people have certain conditions that either may have caused their tooth loss or that their tooth loss has triggered a condition. Either way, these will need to be fixed first.
Take gum disease, for example, dental implants (like our natural teeth) need support from healthy gums to thrive, but when gum disease is rife, it can wreak havoc with newly placed implants. Therefore, before any dental implant surgery occurs, the dentist will look to treat the condition with techniques such as scaling and root planing, gum pocket reduction (flap surgery) or gum grafting.
In addition, it’s highly likely that anyone with periodontal disease will also be experiencing bone tissue loss in either their upper or lower jaw. In these instances, skilled dental implants dentists can carry out bone grafting or sinus lifting to ensure dental implants have the best chance of success when placed into the jaw.
Once you have fully recovered, have sufficient bone and are free from gum disease, then your dentist will contact you to arrange a date for implant placement.
During Dental Implant Surgery
The surgical process is the part that many people dread but in most cases, it’s relatively quick and easy.
In fact, If you opt for a digital dental implants procedure then implant placement is so meticulously planned, that the time spent chairside is minimal.
Even during a traditional implants procedure, the actual placing of the implant into the jawbone is comfortable and most patients are surprised at how quickly the process is over.
Nevertheless, here’s what you might expect during a dental implants procedure.
- Firstly patients will be anaesthetised using a local anaesthetic. Nervous or anxious patients may also be given IV Sedation to relax them.
- Then, if you are undergoing traditional dental implants a small incision will be made in the gum and the jaw bone underneath is exposed
- Next, the titanium implant is placed and secured down into the jawbone, the gum is then stitched back up over the implant and it’s left to heal.
- Alternatively, with digital dental implants, the gum doesn’t need to be cut and keyhole surgery is used to insert the titanium implant straight through the gum and into the jaw via a small pilot hole. This way, there is minimal gum tissue damage and no need for sutures.
Once the dental implant surgery is over, dental implants patients will be asked to rest up for several days to allow the implant site to settle. But also during this time, a vital part of the teeth implants process takes place – Osseointegration!
After Dental Implant Surgery
What makes dental implants stand out from other tooth replacement options are that they remain fixed in the mouth permanently. This can only occur as a result of bone fusion (osseointegration). Once a dental implant is placed into the jawbone the bone tissue gradually fuses with it to create a solid structure that locks it firmly in place. This process takes somewhere between 2-4 months to complete depending upon the healing capabilities of the individual.
During this period, dental implants patients can go about their normal daily lives. They will, however, be expected to attend regular dental appointments just to check on progress. Once the bone and implant are fully integrated, the next and final stages of the dental implants procedure can be carried out.
Abutment and crown
Now that the implant is fully stable, the last part of the dental implants process is to expose the implant once again and to attach the abutment. This is a small connector that attaches the implant to the dental restoration (the false tooth). Finally, once the abutment is in position, the visible part of the implant (the crown) can be permanently attached for flawless smile restoration.
So there you have it, everything you need to know about the teeth implants procedure, before, during and after surgery.
If you would like to know whether you are a good candidate for dental implants, then come and talk to the team at the Digital Dental Implants Institute here in Sydney. We provide the latest digital implant techniques carried out by highly experienced dentists in our state-of-the-art dental practice. Contact us for a consultation today to see how we can help you.