Dental implants are an intricate method to replace missing teeth. The process alone involves several steps including oral surgery, and will take several months. Patients who choose this tooth replacement method should prepare themselves for months of treatment, unlike dentures or bridges, which will only take a month to complete. Premier Dental Care will complete the dental implant process in Palmdale, CA for patients missing any number of teeth.
The Dental Implant Process
There are many steps in the process with the first being the planning phase. Following that is oral surgery, healing, abutment placement, and placement of the final restoration. Here, we explain the dental implant process to help our patients understand why dental implants are the best choice for replacing teeth.
The planning phase is the most important part of the dental implant process. Many things will take place to prepare your dental implant treatment. During the planning phase, the following will take place:
- The process begins with an initial consultation with your dentist. They will assess your oral health, review your medical history, evaluate your teeth, and discuss your expectations.
- Premier Dental Care uses cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) to create detailed 3D images of your jawbone and surrounding structures. We will use these to help determine bone density, volume, and the optimal implant placement.
- We will assess the quality and quantity of the bone in the jaw. Insufficient bone may require bone grafting procedures to enhance the implant site.
- Based on the diagnostic information, our dental team will develop your implant treatment plan. This includes the number, type, and size of your dental implants. It also includes the ideal location of the implants and the type of prosthetic you need.
- Once your treatment plan is in place, we will discuss your treatment timeline and all the associated costs. Our staff will explain what to expect before, during, and after your oral surgery. Most importantly, we will explain the importance of post-operative care and maintaining good oral hygiene throughout the treatment.
Dental Implant Surgery
The next phase is your dental implant surgery. The dental implant procedure involves the actual placement of the dental implants into the jawbone. We work with anesthesiologists to offer IV sedation to ensure your comfort during surgery.
Your dentist will make a small incision in the gums to access the jawbone. Using precision drills, they will create tiny holes for the implant fixtures at each implant site. The drilling is done according to the dimensions in your treatment plan, ensuring a secure fit for the implant.
Once your implant sites are ready, your dentist will carefully insert each dental implant. The titanium implant posts will sit below the gumline and into the jawbone. The number of dental implants we place depends on your plan and the number of missing teeth you have.
In some cases, we will place a healing abutment on the implants. Your dentist will then suture the gum tissue around the implant to facilitate proper healing.
Healing Phase (Osseointegration)
During the healing period, also known as osseointegration, the dental implants will fuse with the surrounding jawbone. This is a natural, biological process and it is crucial to the success of your dental implant treatment.
This can take several weeks to months, depending on your healing abilities and the location of your implants. During this time, the bone tissue will grow and fuse to the surface of the dental implants. This bone will mature and grow denser if you remain healthy and maintain a healthy environment for the implants to heal. This process helps to enhance the strength of the implant-bone interface.
After the osseointegration period, we will place the abutments if we did not place healing caps on your implant fixtures. An abutment is a connector piece that attaches to an implant. It serves as the support structure for the final dental restoration.
Your dentist will expose the implants by making a small incision. They will place a custom abutment or a stock abutment on the implant using a screw for stability. Many different abutments exist to accommodate the different types of dental restorations.
We often take impressions at this point and use them to create the final prosthetic. This will ensure it fits with the abutment in place.
Final Restoration Placement
We will send the molds off to a dental laboratory. They will custom-make your final prosthetic, whether it is a dental crown, dental bridge, or denture. Once it is ready and you have healed from the abutment placement, you are ready for your permanent dental restoration.
Your dentist will affix your final dental to the abutment, completing the dental implant treatment. The attachment may involve screws or dental cement, depending on the type of restoration. You will have a functional and aesthetically pleasing smile.
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