Reviewed by Dr. Kerri Font, DDS
Embarking on the journey to restore your smile with dental implants is a transformative experience. In our previous blog, we discussed the importance of dental implants and how they can improve your overall oral health.
Now, let’s take a step further and go through the dental implant procedure step-by-step. From the initial consultation to the final restoration, we’ll guide you through each stage to ensure you have a clear picture of what to expect.
Table of Contents
- Initial Consultation and Assessment
- Surgical Procedure
- Healing and Osseointegration
- Abutment and Final Restoration
- Aftercare and Follow-Up
- Dental Implants in Highlands Ranch
Initial Consultation and Assessment
Your periodontist will assess your candidacy for dental implants during your initial visit. They will conduct a comprehensive oral examination, assess your medical history, and take dental X-rays or 3D images. The goal is to create a tailored treatment plan that addresses your specific needs and ensures the success of your implants.
Tooth Extraction (if Necessary)
If extraction of damaged or decayed teeth is needed, this will be done before the implant procedure. Sometimes, a dental implant can be placed immediately after a tooth extraction; this is called ‘immediate placement.’ Your eligibility for this will be discussed with you at your initial consultation.
Bone Grafting (if Necessary)
A bone graft may be necessary if there is insufficient bone to support the implant. This procedure involves adding grafting material to the jawbone to create a stable foundation for the implant. It will take several months for the bone graft to heal and integrate with your natural bone before proceeding with the dental implant surgery.
For more information about bone grafts, read Types of Dental Bone Grafts: Everything You Need to Know.
The surgery begins with the administration of local anesthesia and dental sedation. A small incision is made in the gum tissue to expose the bone. A small hole is drilled in the jaw bone to create a space for the implant. The implant—a small titanium post—is then placed into the jaw bone. Once the implant is in place, the gum tissue is stitched together.
Sometimes, a healing abutment is placed to shape the gum tissue. This helps to create a natural-looking appearance and ensures the proper function of the implant. A temporary crown may also be placed during this stage to provide temporary aesthetics and function while the implant heals.
Healing and Osseointegration
After the dental implant has been placed, the healing process begins. This consists of two primary stages: initial surgical healing and a longer phase known as osseointegration.
Surgical healing: After the implant placement, the gums are stitched back in place to protect the implant and allow it to heal. During this time, it is essential to follow any post-operative care instructions provided by your periodontist, such as maintaining good oral hygiene and avoiding certain foods that may irritate the surgical site.
Osseointegration: This is an essential stage of healing where the titanium implant fuses with the surrounding bone, creating a strong and stable foundation for the replacement tooth. This process can take anywhere from three to six months, depending on individual healing times.
Abutment and Final Restoration
The last phase is the placement of the abutment final restoration, which could be a crown, bridge, or denture. You will return to your dentist, who will take impressions of your mouth and create a customized abutment and restoration that matches the color and shape of your natural teeth.
Once both pieces are ready, the healing abutment will be replaced with the permanent abutment and restoration. You will then have a stable and functional replacement tooth!
Aftercare and Follow-Up
Proper aftercare is crucial to the longevity of dental implants. Our team will provide detailed aftercare instructions and schedule follow-up visits to monitor your progress.
Aftercare instructions include the following:
- Brush twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush.
- Use an antibacterial mouthwash to keep the surgical site clean.
- Eat soft foods and avoid hard, crunchy foods for the first few weeks.
- Quit smoking to promote healing and reduce chances of implant failure.
It’s essential to attend all follow-up appointments so that any issues can be addressed promptly.
Check out these blogs for more information about the healing period:
Dental Implants in Highlands Ranch
Understanding the dental implant procedure can help ease any concerns you may have and provide a better understanding of what to expect. Our experienced team is dedicated to providing exceptional care and achieving successful outcomes for our patients.
If you’re considering dental implants, schedule a consultation with us today. We’ll assess your oral health and provide a personalized treatment plan to restore your smile and confidence. Don’t let missing teeth hold you back any longer!
If you are searching for ‘dental implants in Highlands Ranch’ or a ‘dental implant periodontist near me,’ we can help! To book a dental implant consultation with Dr. Mike Norouzinia, DDS, or Dr. Kerri Font, DDS, call (303) 683-1144 or complete the online booking form. We look forward to meeting you!
Stay tuned for the next blog in our dental implant series, which will cover dental implant failure and how to prevent it. In the meantime, check out our dental implant FAQ page for more information.