With the help of cutting-edge dental technology and advanced surgical techniques, the dental implant process is now faster, easier, and more comfortable than ever before. However, that doesn’t mean it’s instantaneous or always simple. A lot goes into providing you with the strongest, most stable, and most successful tooth replacement solution available.
If you’re considering undergoing a dental implant procedure with the team at Dental Implants & Periodontal Health of Rochester, take a look at this timeline to get a better idea of what the process will look like.
Step 1: Losing the Tooth
There are various reasons why you may lose a tooth or need to have one extracted. Maybe you had a traumatic dental injury, or advanced gum disease weakened your tooth’s support structure, causing it to fall out. Maybe you haven’t lost a tooth, but damage or decay is significant enough that other dental restorations will not suffice.
Whatever the reason, your best option for replacement is a dental implant.
Step 2: Initial Consultation
Before undergoing a dental implant procedure, you’ll need to see your periodontist for an initial consultation. They will perform an examination, go over your medical history with you, and take some X-rays. At that consultation, the treatment plan will be discussed with you as well as costs and financial options. To see if you are a good candidate for an implant at Dental Implants & Periodontal Health of Rochester, we offer a free implant consultation to get you started.
Step 3: Bone Graft Procedure
Your tooth roots stimulate bone growth in your jaw. If a tooth is missing for a significant amount of time, the lack of root stimulation may result in enough bone loss that your jaw cannot support a dental implant. If that’s the case for you, you may require a bone graft.
The bone graft procedure involves your periodontist taking healthy bone from an outside source and grafting it onto the area where the implant will be placed. This technique provides your jaw with the strength necessary to support the implant. A bone graft needs to heal for about four to six months before a dental implant procedure can take place.
Bone grafts are not necessary for every patient. Your periodontist will let you know if you need a bone graft before the dental implant procedure.
Step 4: The Dental Implant Procedure
Dental implants gain their unmatched strength and stability through a process called osseointegration. This process involves the fusion of a small titanium screw to the jawbone. During this process, your periodontist will apply a local anesthetic and make a small incision in your gum, where they can access the jawbone and place the titanium post.
Implant placement is the first step in the dental implant procedure.1 It requires about three to six months for full integration to occur. You may be given a temporary, removable replacement tooth during this time.
Once the implant is fully integrated, your periodontist will connect a healing abutment to the implant. The abutment is a small metal cap that the gums will heal. The healing time for this step is usually about two to four weeks.
When the healing process is complete, your dentist will take an impression of the implant, and the new prosthetic abutment and a custom crown will be fabricated. When your custom crown is ready, it will be attached to the connecting abutment. Your implant and custom crown will now look and function like a natural tooth.
Step 5: Dental Implant Recovery
The dental implant procedure is minimally invasive, and thanks to modern techniques, it involves less discomfort than ever before. However, the recovery period may include some swelling and discomfort. Your doctor will provide you with a list of recovery tips and possibly a prescription for pain-relieving medication.
Caring for your dental implant is almost the same as caring for your natural teeth, only with a little more diligence, as your dental crown isn’t quite as strong as the rest of your teeth. Brush and floss twice a day, visit your periodontist regularly and avoid potentially destructive habits, such as chewing hard objects. If you do, you should have your healthy, new smile for many years.
Looking for Dental Implants in Rochester, NY?
Missing teeth can be detrimental to your oral health and your self-confidence. If you’re looking for dental implants in Rochester, NY, contact Dental Implants & Periodontal Health of Rochester today for your free implant consultation. Call us at 585-685-2005.