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Here’s what to expect during dental implant surgery:
At your first visit, your dentist can determine if you are a good candidate for dental implants with a comprehensive examination.
This will include thorough medical and dental histories, a clinical evaluation, and advanced digital imaging. You’ll also discuss if you need any other surgical procedures like a bone graft or sinus augmentation to ensure sufficient bone to place the implant.
Your surgical process will include your dentist administering local anesthesia so you are numb and comfortable. Some patients use Nitrous Oxide or General Anesthesia if they have dental anxiety.
You may need a tooth extraction before your implant or at the time of implant placement. Many people also require bone grafting to ensure more support for their jawbone and dental implant.
The dentist will gently insert the titanium implant screw into the jawbone and suture it up so your gum tissue can heal. The implant screw will serve as the tooth root for your new artificial tooth. A post-surgical radiograph will be taken.
Once your implants are placed, it will take several months to heal.
During this time, your implant will osseointegrate, or fuse, into your jawbone. Your dentist will carefully monitor you for a few months to ensure you are ready for a custom restoration.
Once properly healed, your dentist will evaluate you and create an impression for the custom restoration. Your healing cap is removed so the dentist can prepare for your restoration.
Whether you need a single crown, an implant bridge, or a full arch denture, you will receive a custom prosthetic that will naturally match your adjacent teeth. Once designed and prepared by the laboratory, your dentist will permanently insert your prosthetic to give you a new, long-lasting smile.
You must follow up with your dentist a few days after the procedure to ensure you’re healing correctly and there is no infection.
You may need a dental x-ray at one of your follow-ups to determine if the implant is correctly osseointegrated into your jaw bone.
Dental implants are the leading treatment option for missing teeth.
A dental implant replaces missing teeth using a biocompatible titanium screw surgically inserted into the jawbone. A custom abutment connects the implant screw to a personalized restoration like a crown, bridge, or denture to help create an artificial tooth.
Implants can vary based on the type you need and your dentist. The most common types of dental implants are:
Single-tooth implants replace a single missing tooth. They use one screw to replace a singular tooth.
Implant-retained bridges replace several missing teeth. This dental implant can use a natural tooth or an implant as an anchor. It can also improve your speech and eating function.
Implant-retained dentures replace an entire arch or both arches. They usually use 4 to 6 implants depending on the bone level.
The dentures stay fixed in your mouth, and dentists will only remove them for cleaning.
For dental implants to be successful, you need to be in good medical health and have optimal bone levels.
Not everyone is eligible for dental implant surgery. If you have any chronic medical conditions or inflammation, it can compromise the dental implant healing process.
Immunocompromised individuals with cancer, HIV/AIDS, autoimmune deficiencies, and similar conditions may need to discuss other treatment options depending on their condition.
The surgical process usually lasts about 60 minutes, depending on your needed implants.
With surgical guides and advanced dental imaging, your dentist or oral surgeon has an accurate idea of where to place the implants for optimal success.
Some dental offices claim they can perform dental implants in a single session.
Dental implants in a single visit depend on your bone levels and health. However, many dentists will wait at least 4 to 6 months before attaching a prosthesis, so there is less chance of failure.
Dental implants may be slightly uncomfortable following the procedure. However, your dentist will administer local anesthetic to ensure you are comfortable throughout treatment.
You can expect the following after your procedure:
You can plan for your implant to take up to six months (from start to finish).
Remember that the dental implant process is not an overnight procedure. It’s an oral surgery that will require healing. The recovery process may take more depending on:
Dental implants are highly successful if you follow your dentist or oral surgeon’s instructions. The hope is this new artificial tooth will last you a lifetime.
It’s 100% recommended and necessary to follow up with your dentist after dental implant surgery. The dentist must evaluate if your implant site is healing well and if there is no infection.
The typical follow-up care for dental implants will usually include:
Dental implant procedures are popular because they offer several benefits. These benefits include:
Dental implants feel and look a lot like your natural teeth. Dentists will customize the artificial teeth to look like your missing tooth. As such, dental implants are an excellent choice for those who want to achieve a seamless and natural smile.
Dental implants can last up to 30 years, making them one of the most long-lasting dental procedures. With proper care and maintenance, your implants can even last a lifetime.
Dental implants can act like artificial tooth roots. When you lose a tooth, the area and surrounding teeth can deteriorate over time.
After dental implant placement, the implant can mimic the function of a natural tooth root. This forms a bond that can help safeguard your jawbone from further deterioration.
Dental implants are relatively easy to maintain compared to other dental procedures. There’s usually no need for special care.
Maintenance is similar to how you would take care of your natural teeth. It includes regular brushing, flossing, and dental check-ups.
The average cost of a dental implant (by type) is as follows:
Implant coverage depends on your insurance policy. Many insurances don’t cover implants because they’re considered cosmetic.
There are also substitution treatments for missing teeth, like dental bridges or dentures. These treatments are covered by insurance.
If your insurance has implant benefits, you usually have a percentage that will be paid out-of-pocket.
Without dental insurance, implants are a positive investment in your well-being and dental health. Costs will primarily depend on:
Dental implant surgery comes with potential risks and complications like other dental procedures. These include:
Proper care for your dental implants is essential to ensure their longevity. Here are some tips to follow:
Proper oral hygiene is vital to dental implant maintenance. To practice proper oral hygiene, brushing your at least twice a day is essential. You should gently brush your teeth and use an electric toothbrush if possible.
Regular check-ups can help dentists detect any problems with your dental implants early on. They can monitor your dental health and perform cleanings to remove any hardened dental plaque on your implants.
Tobacco use can result in implant failure and other dental implant-related complications. Avoid smoking or at least reduce your tobacco use to improve the longevity of your dental implants.
Your dental implants are still susceptible to damage from teeth grinding or trauma. You can protect your teeth using a night guard while sleeping or a mouth guard when playing contact sports.
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