Dental implant surgery can be a scary procedure that causes dental anxiety in patients. By understanding what to expect during dental implant surgery, however, patients can calm their nerves and take each step of the process in stride.The dental implant process is very detailed, and there are several stages that take place throughout the procedure,…
What are the Steps in a Dental Implant Procedure?
Dental implants are known to be chosen by many patients every day. Knowing what is involved in the process of this surgical procedure can provide a sense of comfort for a patient. A typical dental implant procedure involves the following steps:
X-ray or 3D scan
In the initial consultation, the dentist will examine the condition of the gums, teeth and jawbone. They will use an x-ray or 3D scanning for this purpose. The doctor will also create a personalized plan for the surgery.
Replica of the mouth
A replica of the mouth helps the dentist in their work. To create the replica, they put a metal or plastic tray filled with a liquid, such as polyvinyl siloxane, into the mouth. The patient bites into the hardening liquid to create impressions of their teeth, gums, and surrounding tissues. This is a straightforward procedure, but some patients can find it uncomfortable because of their gag reflex or they may panic because they are unable to open their mouth normally.
Extraction of the tooth
If the tooth that needs to be replaced is still in the patient's mouth, the dentist will extract it. The time taken to extract the tooth will depend on its condition. Fractured teeth require extra care when extracting because they can get fragmented. Before the extraction, the patient is given anesthesia to make it a pain-free procedure. However, they will feel pressure during the removal.
Placement of the dental implant
The dentist will drill a hole in the jawbone to place the dental implants. They may also make an incision in the gums in order to expose the bone. Then, they will place the implant in the bone where the tooth will be placed. In some cases, there may also be a need for a bone graft. Patients usually don't notice this minor part of the procedure.
The experience of getting an implant will vary from person to person. Majority of patients feel less discomfort than they expected and are usually allowed to drive home after the procedure. The post-treatment discomfort is comparable to other dental surgeries. Over-the-counter painkillers help in managing the pain.
The healing process can take a few months. During this time, the jawbone and implants grow together. During the first few weeks after, the patient is restricted to soft foods. Patients have the option to place a temporary tooth over the implant during the healing process as well.
Abutment and tooth placement
Once the implant is fully bonded with the jaw, the dentist will place an abutment on the implant. After giving anesthesia, the dentist will tighten the abutment using a dental wrench. For some patients, the dentist may also recommend an abutment at the same time as the implant. Once the gums heal, the dentist will attach the artificial tooth to the abutment.
Dental implant surgery is a multi-step procedure that involves various parts of the mouth, including the jaw and gums. There is also a considerable healing period post-surgery before the teeth can be placed on the implant. Consult with a dentist to discuss your options and to get a personalized dental plan.
If you still have questions about how dental implants are placed, feel free to give us a call today. We're available to walk you through the procedure as well as answer any questions that you may have.
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