The Dental Implant Procedure
The surgery to install dental implants is mostly outpatient and involves several stages. We allow some time for healing between the stages before proceeding with the process. A dental implant procedure can take several months from start to finish, depending on the type of implant we install.
However, much of the time is dedicated to healing, which takes quite some time. Besides, we allow time for the growth of new bone in your jaw before proceeding with the process. We follow several steps depending on the dental implant material or your condition.
Dental Implant Placement
We often start the process by placing the dental implant. In the surgery aimed to place a dental implant in your jaw, our oral surgeons will make a cut in your gum and expose the bone. They will then drill holes into the jawbone and prepare the site where the metallic, screwlike post will be installed. The post has to be inserted and planted deep into the jawbone to serve as the tooth root.
At the end of this process, you will still have a gap in your mouth as the tooth will not have been replaced yet. The post replaces your tooth root but not your tooth. If needed, our professionals can place a type of partial denture to replace your teeth. Note that this is only temporary and strictly for appearance purposes. You can easily remove the artificial denture when eating, cleaning, or sleeping.
Waiting for Bone Growth
The next step in the dental implant procedure is waiting for bone growth. Osseointegration starts as soon as the metal post is implanted in your jaw. During the osseointegration process, the jawbone grows into the metal implant and is united with its surface. The process can take up to several months. Osseointegration is crucial because it provides a solid base for installing your new artificial tooth. A solid base is necessary because it strengthens the artificial tooth, just like natural teeth. Our dentists ensure the base is solid before continuing with the process.
Once osseointegration is complete, an abutment will be placed in your mouth. This process might need additional surgery, depending on the condition of the metallic post. Remember that the abutment is a piece of metal to which our surgeons will eventually attach the crown. Abutment placement is a minor surgery that typically involves local anesthesia. On average, it takes only a few minutes in an outpatient setting.
Installing Artificial Teeth
The last step in the dental implant procedure is installing artificial teeth. This is done once your gums heal after abutment placement. Impressions of your mouth will be made to give a clear picture of the type of teeth you need. The impressions are used to make the artificial tooth in the form of a crown. Note that we can't place artificial teeth in your mouth until the jaw bone is strong enough to support it. Our dentists will monitor the condition of your jawbone and determine when it is safe to place the crown.
Benefits of Dental Implants
Dental implants are one of the most reliable methods of tooth replacement. They help restore your smile by functioning just like natural teeth. The dental implant material makes implants reliable and more efficient than other oral remedies. Here are some of the benefits of dental implants.
|•||Prevent bone loss: With missing teeth in your mouth, your jaw will significantly lose bone mass. This is because the jawbone relies on teeth to maintain its mass. Unlike other teeth replacement options, dental implants replace jawbone stimulation and help avoid the loss of bone mass. This keeps your mouth healthy and prevents oral conditions.
|•||Restore your bite: With dental implants, you can bite with the same force as natural teeth. This is because implants are anchored deep into the jawbone and can withstand high pressure levels. Other teeth replacement options can fail when too much pressure is exerted.
|•||Little risk of cavities: One of the biggest benefits of dental implants is the fact that they can't get cavities. With artificial teeth, you need to care for them as they are susceptible to bacteria that cause cavities. This is not the case with dental implants. Dental implant material cannot decay; therefore, it keeps cavities at bay. With dental implants, you don't have to worry about getting cavities!
|•||Easy to clean: Dental implants are very easy to clean. Unlike other tooth replacement options, implants fit your mouth perfectly and function like natural teeth. Therefore, you can brush and floss them without using specialized equipment. This saves you time while cleaning and allows you to focus on other activities. Even better, dental implants will also allow you to speak more naturally.|
Dental Implant FAQ
|•||What is the disadvantage of dental implants? Like any other oral surgical procedure, dental implant surgery has a risk of discomfort, inflammation, and infection. However, our prosthodontists will help you manage any setbacks that come with the procedure.
|•||Do dental implants last? Dental implants can last for many years when well maintained. Unlike natural teeth, these implants cannot be affected by conditions such as decay and cavities. This makes them more durable than other tooth replacement options.
|•||Can you turn dentures into implants? Dentures cannot be made into implants. This is because dentures cannot support the solid base required by implants.|
Schedule a Dental Implant Procedure Today
Are you looking to get dental implants? Our professionals at Harper Dental are ready to help you get dental implants that will make your smile glow! Call us at (479) 431-0280 and schedule your dental implant appointment today.