If you’ve been told that you need to have your teeth removed or already have missing teeth, it may be time to consider what type of dental procedure you want to have to replace those damaged or missing teeth.
Fortunately, there are many options for replacing severally damaged or missing teeth, one of the many being dental implants. Dental implants are artificial roots that are integrated into your jaw bone to hold a replacement tooth.
Dental implants are a very ideal and effective dental treatment, while also being considerably more predictable compared to the alternative treatments. The following includes a simplified guide for a dental implant procedure.
Dental Implant Consultation
If you’ve made the choice to replace some missing teeth with dental implants, you’ll need to discuss your individual case with a dental implant specialist. Once you’ve both agreed on the best option, you will be provided with the following information:
- The cost of the dental implant procedure
- What is included and excluded with those costs
- The potential risks and benefits of dental implants
- If dental sedation is offered and if so, the cost
- How many appointments will be required
- What type of care the dental practice will offer
- What level of commitment is required from you
By this point, you should have all of the information you need to make an informed choice about whether you want to move forward with the treatment or not.
The Implant Planning Stage
This is the stage where you may be required to visit the dentist office two or three times, and also may have x-rays or CT scans done. This is to show your dentist the exact dimensions and density of the bone where your implant is going to be placed, and the surgeon that will place the dental implant precisely.
During this time, the way your top and bottom teeth/jaws meet will also be accessed. This is done to allow the dental technician to replicate the way your jaw moves in the dental lab when they are finishing your permanent crown.
Throughout this phase, your implantologist and dental technician will being working very closely together to plan and decide where the final restoration will be placed.
Dental Implant Placement and Healing
Thanks to the advancements in dentistry techniques, dental implants procedures can be made comfortable and almost pain-free. If you have high anxiety about the procedure, think about asking your dentist for sedation. This will help ease your anxiety and relax you throughout the dental implant procedure.
First, your dentist will drill a hole into your bone which will match the exact diameter of the implant. Then, the dental implant will be placed into the hole and your gums will be stitched over the top. In most cases, your dentist with provide you with some type of temporary tooth replacement.
Once the implant is placed, you will leave the office and wait for the dental implant to properly heal. During the healing phase your gum will heal over the implant and the dental implant itself will integrate into the jawbone, making this phase very important. The healing process can take anywhere from 3 to 6 months.
The reconstruction phase takes place once the integration process has occurred and your implants are secure in your jawbone. During this phase your missing teeth will be replaced with the final crown, which is cemented or screwed onto the dental implant.
The crown is fabricated to look just like your existing teeth, with surface texture, color and shape all customized to seamlessly blend in with your smile.
The Follow Up
Once your crown has been placed, you will then be asked to schedule a follow up appointment to ensure that your dental implant is healing properly and that the implant is everything you imagined it would be.
As far as ongoing care, you should take care of your dental implant just the way you would your natural teeth. Be sure to brush twice a day for two minutes each session, floss at least once a day and use a mouthwash. Also, don’t forget to visit your dentist for regular checkups and professional cleanings.
If you would like to replace your severally damaged or missing teeth with dental implants, contact Barmby and Frick Prosthodontics in Walnut Creek, CA at 925-934-5526 to schedule a consultation. Or visit www.barmbyfrickprosthodontics.com for additional information.