So you’re getting dental implants.
Whether you have one missing tooth or several, you and your dentist have decided you’re a good candidate for dental implants. The titanium implant will replace your natural tooth root, stimulating your jawbone and providing your new artificial tooth with the strong foundation it needs. You’re a good candidate for the procedure, as you have no significant underlying health conditions stopping you from proceeding. And the best thing is that these new, beautiful, lifelike teeth will last you a lifetime.
While you’re likely excited at the prospect of how your tooth implants will give you new freedom and change your life, chances are you are also a little bit nervous. Don’t worry. We’re here to lay out every step of the dental implants process so you can be confident, assured, and know what to expect going into your dental implant procedure.
1. First, X-rays and molds are taken of your mouth to get an accurate picture.
Since every case is unique, your doctor needs to get a detailed picture of your mouth before the process begins. The initial evaluation will help your doctor determine if you need any teeth extracted, if you’re a good candidate for implants, and if you need a bone graft before your implant procedure.
2. Your doctor will take a detailed medical history.
Be prepared with your whole medical history. Specifically, do you have any medical conditions and what medicines do you take? A detailed history helps your doctor know which kind of anesthesia to use, when you should stop taking certain medications prior to anesthesia, and if you’re going to need an antibiotics prescription afterwards.
3. You may need a pre-implant procedure.
If you have a damaged tooth that needs to be removed prior to your implant surgery, it will be done before the process commences.
Some people need a bone graft before getting implants placed. If there isn’t enough jawbone mass and structure to support the implant, your doctor will perform a bone graft. Since bone atrophies without a tooth in place to stimulate it, you might need a bone graft if your tooth has been missing for a while. It takes several months to recover after bone-graft surgery.
4. Dental implant surgery is safe and effective.
If you had bone grafting done, the next step after that has healed is the implant placement procedure. Prosthodontists or dentists with an extra credential in prosthodontics can perform implant placement procedures, and the success rate is very high.
Beforehand, you’ll discuss with your doctor everything you need to know about your implant surgery, including what level of sedation will be best for you. Many people prefer IV sedation for their dental implant surgery, which means you are asleep during the procedure. During the surgery, the doctor will make a tiny incision in the gum and place a titanium implant into the jawbone. The procedure takes one to two hours and you will want a driver for the ride home.
5. Abutment placement happens three to six months after implants.
Three to six months, and sometimes more: that’s the amount of time it takes for the implant to heal and reintegrate into the bone before the next step, the abutment placement.
Dr. Staley will place the abutment. This is a post that acts as an anchor for your artificial tooth. Some people need a second procedure for this step; it depends on the kind of implant you have.
After about two weeks of healing, you are ready for perhaps the most exciting step of the whole process: choosing your new teeth.
6. Fitting and placing your crown.
Finally, everything is ready for this final step: the crown placement. Dr. Staley will take more molds of your teeth, and the lab will fabricate your new permanent crown. Your temporary crown will be removed, and your permanent crown will be fitted.
This final step can take a couple months because Dr. Staley may have to perform more than one fitting to find the crown that fits correctly. Once the right crown is fitted, it will be either cemented into place or screwed on, depending on the type of implant you have.
7. Enjoying your new teeth.
Now it’s time to learn how to take care of your new teeth after dental implants. The good news is that, while it’s imperative that you practice good oral hygiene with implants, implants require the same care that natural teeth do. So, caring for them will be straightforward and less of a hassle than dentures.
So you can see how getting dental implants can take several months as multiple procedures can be involved. When you finally reach the end, you will have brand new, aesthetically pleasing, and solidly strong teeth that allow you to bite into food and chew, speak correctly, and give you a seamlessly perfect smile.
Don’t put off getting a healthy, new gorgeous smile.
Are you looking for dental implants near Boise, Idaho? Don’t hesitate to reach out to us for a consultation—Dr. Staley can assess if you’re a candidate and, if so, can get you started on the journey towards the smile you deserve.