Tooth replacement with dental implants is a cutting-edge technology that offers individuals with damaged or missing teeth a chance to smile again. The process begins with the initial consultation and ends with the placement of the dental crown.
The general timeframe for dental implant treatment is 6-12 months and depends on factors such as the presence of gum disease or the need for bone grafting. Resident periodontist and implantologist, Dr. Delaram Hanookai of Gage Dental Care, will consider these factors during evaluation and treatment planning before giving you an approximate timeframe.
What are Dental Implants?
Dental implants, also known as prosthetic teeth, are tiny titanium screws that mimic the function of the natural tooth root by holding the customized dental crown in place. Implants are inserted into the gum or jawbone depending on the surgical procedure used by the periodontist. These artificial tooth roots can be used to replace one or more teeth or could be used for full-mouth reconstruction.
Stages of Dental Implant Treatment
The following 4 stages of dental implant treatment gives you a general idea on what to expect during the process.
Stage 1: Bone Grafting
Once the implantologist verifies that your gum is healthy and free from infection or gum disease, you can be prepped for implants starting with bone grafting. Bone grafting is a procedure reserved for patients with insufficient jawbone height. Grafting is done to restore bone lost due to erosion or a dental abscess and create enough bone structure to hold the tooth root in place. The procedure is not necessary in patients who are unable or unwilling to undergo bone grafting.
Stage 2: Implant Placement
At this stage, the implantologist will administer local anesthesia to numb the entire mouth and reduce discomfort. A surgical incision is then made in the gum to access and drill the area of the jawbone where the titanium tooth root will be inserted. The implant is then inserted into the gum (subperiosteal procedure ) or bone (endosteal procedure) and screwed snugly in place. The gum is closed and sutured. The placement of a single implant can take about 45-60 minutes.
Stage 3: Osseointegration
Osseointegration is the process of healing after the implant is placed. It can take approximately 6 months for healing to complete. The bone will fuse itself to the implant during this period. This process is necessary to ensure the body accepts the dental implant so it can function like a natural tooth. Osseointegration is considered complete when there is no movement between the implant and the bone.
Stage 4: Connecting the Abutment and Crowning
Once the bone effectively fuses to the prosthetic tooth root, a titanium rod known as an abutment is connected to the implant. The rod will help secure the crown in place. A few weeks after the gum heals, you will need to return to have dental impressions of your mouth and teeth taken. This assists in customizing the dental crown so it fits and function as expected. Your implantologist will connect the crown to the abutment at a later date to complete the tooth replacement process.
Call to make a consultation
Dr. Hanookai has spent the past 20 years performing smile restoration. Her expertise allows her to perform implant treatment on even patients who were told this treatment is not suitable for them. Gage Dental Care also offers same-day dental implantation where possible. Cutting edge technology, including 3D CT scanning and virtual software planning, will be used to create a treatment plan that allows you to get implants on the same day. Call today to book a consultation and look forward to a brighter smile!