Dental implants are metal posts, such as titanium, gold, or porcelain, which are used to replace the root of missing teeth. This is where a permanent or removable tooth is placed. Depending on the type of implant and condition of your jawbone, the dental implant surgery procedure may vary. While this is true, all dental implant surgery happens in stages and may involve more than one procedure.
This article aims to help you understand the step-by-step dental implants procedure.
How It All Begins: Initial Consultation
First, you need to visit a specialist called a prosthodontist or a general dentist who will perform a comprehensive examination via X-rays and create teeth and gum impressions for the models. The dentist may also require a computed tomography (CT) scan of your mouth, which will help them see where the nerves and sinuses are located, which need to be avoided during surgery. They will also use this to check how much jawbone there is to hold the implants.
Why You May Need a Bone Grafting
The chewing motion of the mouth applies a lot of pressure on your bone, so in cases where the jawbone is too soft or not thick enough, the dental implant surgery will fail. A bone graft is the most likely solution to this issue as it can create a more solid foundation for the dental implant. Where the bone will be grafted is your choice. It can be from your mouth, chin, or hip. Processed cadaver, cow, or pig bone can also be used. You may also opt for bones made from synthetic materials such as hydroxyapatite or calcium phosphate.
How It Works: Surgery Procedure
A dental implant surgery is normally an outpatient surgery that involves the following stages:
- Removal of the damaged tooth.
- The jawbone is prepared for surgery. Bone grafting may be needed, depending on the condition of your jawbone.
- Your oral surgeon will place the metal post in your jawbone.
- A healing process that may take a few months will follow.
- After your jawbone heals, the abutment is placed by your oral surgeon.
- Your dentist will create molds of your jawbone and teeth once the soft tissues heal.
- The artificial tooth can now be placed.
Before you start with the procedure, you need to set your expectations. The whole process will take months because the bone needs to heal around the implant as tightly as possible. The healing part will take a lot of time. Don’t force to hurry things up or your surgery will fail.