What to Expect When Getting a Dental Implant

What to Expect When Getting a Dental Implant

A dental implant is the gold standard replacement for a missing tooth. You can get one or several, depending on how many teeth need to be replaced. It’s even possible to get entire dental arches replaced by implant-supported dentures.

What makes implants great is that they provide artificial roots to go along with their crowns. This, however, makes it so that several steps are involved in their installation.

Initial Dental Implant Consultation

At this stage, the dentist will assess your mouth to see whether the intended area is immediately suitable for implants. X-rays will be taken, and a direct examination will be performed.

Possible Bone Grafting

If there isn’t enough bone in the place that is to receive the implant, you’re not out of luck. Bone grafts are fairly routine in this procedure. These typically use artificial materials to stimulate the growth of new bone.

Bone grafts are not always required. If you don’t need one, you’ll go directly to the implantation phase.

Implantation of the Artificial Tooth Root

This is where the “implant” of a dental implant comes in. A small surgical procedure is done to open up the gum and drill into the jaw bone. Then, a peg about the length of a natural tooth root is installed into the hole. Once this is done, the gum is typically sutured so that contaminants don’t get into the implanted area.

You are numbed heavily during this procedure, so you won’t feel any pain at all. You’ll likely be given a short course of prescription painkillers for after the numbing wears off. Since everyone’s pain tolerance is different, it’s hard to predict how much, if any, of the pain-relieving medicine you’ll need.

After this procedure, you’ll wait a few weeks. This provides a healing period, during which your jaw bone will grow around the new implant.

Installation of the Abutment

An abutment is a piece of metal that goes between the implanted “root” and the crown. It must be installed prior to the crown placement.

For this, you’ll be numbed, and then your gum will be opened up to expose the top of the implant. The abutment will then be attached. This is a quick and easy procedure, but since an incision was made, you’ll have to wait for that to heal before you get your crown. Your dentist will advise you on how long this wait will be, based on your expected healing rate.

Finally, it’s Crown Time!

This works much like getting a crown for a natural tooth. You’ll go to the office and have a mold made of your mouth. A crown lab will then create the crown according to the shape of the mold.

Once the crown is done, you’ll come back to the office. The crown will be installed onto the top of the abutment. You’ll finally have a completed implant!

Get Started Today

If you’re ready to get rid of the gap caused by one or more missing teeth, make an appointment with Ideal Dental. We’ll evaluate you and let you know whether dental implants are right for you. Find your local Ideal Dental office to get started today.