Dental implant surgery is usually performed in different stages. The objective is to replace the tooth roots with metal posts that are anchored to the jawbone and that support dental works like an artificial tooth or a crown.
This procedure is often an alternative when dentures or bridges don’t fit. How this procedure takes place depends on the type of dental implant as well as the structure and condition of the jawbone. The procedure as a whole may consist of multiple smaller procedures that may require healing in between. This means that the entire dental implant procedure may take many months.
The Goal of Dental Implants
Dental implants act like your artificial teeth’s new roots. To perform optimally, they have to be anchored directly into the jawbone where they won’t slip, make noise, or damage the bone or dental works. Dental implants should also be resistant to decay.
As is the case with any medical procedure, there are some inherent risks that your healthcare provider will discuss with you. These risks include infection at the location of the implants, injury to surrounding teeth or blood vessels, nerve damage that can be uncomfortable or painful in your other teeth, gums, lips, or chin, and sinus problems. The risk for sinus problems is typically higher when dental implants are placed in the upper jaw. Of course, these risks are managed and when they occur they are usually small and can be easily treated.
Before you can undergo dental implant surgery, you have to be thoroughly evaluated and prepared. The preparation process includes an extensive dental exam during which dental x-rays are taken and models are made of your teeth and mouth.
It also involves an in-depth treatment plan that is tailored to your unique dental situation. In many cases, a team of medical specialists will work together to ensure that every aspect of the implant surgery is covered.
You will also receive instructions on what you should be eating and drinking before surgery. Your medical team will also compile a pain management plan that may involve different anesthesia options.
- The dental implant surgery is typically performed in the following stages:
- The damaged tooth is completely removed.
- The jawbone is prepared and treated for surgery. Grafting may be necessary during this stage.
- When your jawbone is healed, an oral surgeon will anchor the dental implant post in your jawbone.
- When these steps are completed, your jawbone will first have to take some time to heal. This can take several months before the next steps in the procedure take place.
- Depending on the type of dental implant, one of two things may happen next. The oral surgeon will either place an abutment on the implant, or the dental works will be screwed directly to the dental implant post. In the case of the abutment, it may take some healing time before the dental works are fixed to the abutment.
Even though this is a long process, it is aimed at solving your problem for the rest of your life and is definitely worth going through.