Dental implants are a fairly standard procedure but you may be wondering about the process and what you can expect to happen. Our Richmond dentists share how dental implants work and what the stages of the procedure are.
Our dentists are here to offer some general information about dental implants, how they work and what you can expect from the dental implant procedure.
What Are Dental Implants and How Do They Work?
Placing a dental implant is an oral surgery procedure that can be performed by your dentist, and takes several steps to complete.
An implant consists of two pieces that each require a surgical procedure:
- A titanium rod, shaped like a screw, is placed into the jaw bone and functions like the root of the tooth.
- An abutment is a piece that screws into the dental implant, upon which the artificial tooth will attach later.
Once the dental implant is placed in your jawbone a tooth replacement, such as a crown or bridge, is attached to the abutment.
When bone grafting is required prior to the implant being placed, a waiting period of approximately four to six months will be necessary before the implant portion of your treatment process can get started. Your dentist will recommend bone grafting if you are missing the bone necessary to ensure a successful dental implant procedure.
If an extraction is required prior to the implant procedure, it might or might not require an immediate healing period. Modern dentistry has made it possible for dentists to frequently place implants while pulling teeth. A second healing period is not needed because the implant is placed at the same appointment as the tooth extraction. Depending on the patient's health, this stage will recover within a week.
Once the implant has been placed you will need to wait between four to six months while the bone becomes integrated with the implant metal. At that time the next part of the dental implant procedure can begin.
Finally, your dentist is able to add an abutment to your dental implant to which either an artificial tooth (a dental cap) or denture will be attached.
How Do I Know If Dental Implants Are Right For Me?
Your dentist will thoroughly examine your teeth and gums in addition to taking a complete medical history. After a thorough examination, your dentist will be able to determine whether dental implants are the best option for you.
Healthy gums and a healthy jawbone are needed to support the implants! To benefit from dental implants, you must be in good health and have a fully developed and healthy jawbone.