A successful dental implant procedure provides a welcomed replacement for missing teeth. Patients can look forward to being able to chew without pain and to be able to smile with confidence. A successful implant procedure requires careful planning and meticulous attention to detail. At Toothsome, we are committed to providing tooth replacement procedures that work to our patients’ long term benefits.
Dental Implant Surgery
Dental implant surgery takes place in stages, and at the end of each stage your mouth needs sufficient healing time before you can progress. This is because your dental implants need to perform the job of replacing your tooth roots and, in order to achieve this, the dental implant needs to fuse with your jaw bone in a process known as osseointegration.
How Does A Dental Implant Procedure Work?
All dental implant procedures begin with a thorough evaluation and medical history that will include x rays and scans. Based on the outcomes of this, your Specialist Periodontist Dr Patty Chou and Dental Surgeon Dr David Willis will prepare a treatment plan along with the associated costs.
The treatment plan will break down each stage of the process, the implants recommended and the timelines for each.
If you have been missing a tooth for some time, you have probably experienced some bone loss in your jaw. If your jaw bone is not thick enough to provide anchor support for the implant, you will need a bone graft.
Patients who still have a dead tooth that needs to be removed must first have it extracted. At Toothsome, Dr Patty Chou and Dr David Willis do this as gently as possible to preserve as much bone as possible for the dental implant.
If the tooth has a big infection that has eaten away the bone, a bone graft is performed by taking bone from another part of your body (or from a bone substitute). This is done by making an incision into the site of the implant, and placing the bone matter into the space before closing it up and waiting for bone to grow.
A sinus lift is a type of bone graft that is performed in the upper jaw when there isn’t enough space to embed an implant. The sinus is lifted up to create enough space for the implant.
Placing the implant
If you had a successful bone graft, your Specialist Periodontist Dr Patty Chou or Dental Surgeon Dr David Willis will open the incision up again, and drill into your jaw to insert your implant. The dental implant is a titanium screw that first needs to be incorporated into your jaw before it can take the full weight of an abutment or crown. This means that unless you put a temporary crown or a temporary denture, you will still have an empty space there during the healing period.
Placing the abutment
After a few months your jaw should have healed enough for your dentist to place the abutment, which is an extension piece between the implant and the crown.
In some cases it is possible to place the abutment at the same time the implant is inserted. In these cases, the treatment time is reduced by a step.
Preparing For Dental Implant Surgery
Your Specialist Periodontist Dr Patty Chou or Dental Surgeon Dr David Willis will give you specific care advice to prepare you for implant surgery but if you are a smoker, one of the best things you can do is to quit. Success rates are significantly higher in non-smokers, and your recovery and healing time can be sped up significantly if you do not smoke.
How Long Does A Dental Implant Procedure Take?
While you might only spend a total of one or two hours in your dentist’s chair, the time intervals between each stage of your dental implant surgery can span over a number of weeks. Everyone’s case is completely different, but you can expect anywhere between 12 and 18 months for a treatment plan.
What Can You Expect After Dental Implant Surgery?
As with any kind of surgery, there are some side effects to consider. Some degree of bruising, tenderness and discomfort at the site is to be expected. The side effects are usually manageable, quite mild and tend to resolve in less than a week. Patients find they can be managed with over-the-counter medications and an ice pack.
Still have questions about the dental implant procedure? We’d love to answer your questions about dental implant surgery. Please call our practice to arrange a consultation with our Specialist Dr Patty Chou or our Dental Surgeon Dr David Willis:
Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.