When people learn about dental implants for the first time, they often have many questions. Learning that most tooth replacement options don’t replace the entire tooth is news to them, but they also ask why that matters in the first place. For one, dental implants help you restore not just your tooth, but your tooth’s functions to the absolute fullest. To best understand it, we recommend reading through the process that Dr. Sarah Yarnell goes through every time a patient chooses dental implants to replace teeth. If you have additional questions, feel free to contact our office directly!
To start, our office will listen to your concerns and determine which type of dental implant treatment is right for you. Dental implants can be used to replace single, multiple, or all the teeth in your arch with ease, but we’ll need to confirm which option is most ideal during your consultation. Then, we’ll determine the current status of your oral health. If you have gum disease or extensive tooth decay, we’ll need to treat these conditions before moving forward. Finally, we’ll perform multiple X-rays so we can assess your current bone volume. If not enough bone is available for dental implants, a bone graft will be needed to expand the amount of bone available for integration.
Our office performs the surgical portion of your treatment in-house for your convenience. Beforehand, your mouth will be fully numbed so you do not feel anything during the actual treatment. To start, we’ll create a small incision inside of your gum tissue to expose the alveolar (jaw) bone, then place the titanium post inside of your jaw before closing the gum tissue. This will allow the implant to effectively integrate with your jaw, creating the long-lasting bond that’s so associated with dental implant treatment.
It takes a few months for titanium to effectively integrate with bone tissue. During this period, you’ll wear a temporary restoration that covers the tooth so that it can be properly shielded throughout the day. Once the bone tissue has fully healed, we’ll be able to cover it with an abutment, which is a connector that stabilizes the overall restoration. After the abutment is placed, we’ll allocate a few more weeks for the gum tissue to heal around the implant. The length of this phase can vary depending on the complexity of your tooth replacement treatment.
Finally, after your dental implant(s) have fully healed and integrated, we can place the permanent restoration on top. This restoration could be a single implant-retained crown, dental bridge, or full/partial denture, depending on what your needs were as discussed during the initial consultation. All of our restorations are made with natural-looking materials, including porcelain and acrylic, to ensure the most lifelike tooth replacement possible. Prior to their creation, we will have captured an impression of your implant after the abutment was placed to ensure the most secure fit possible. Once placed, we’ll go over the most important steps to maintain your new smile.