Dental implants are not like other forms of tooth restoration. Unlike traditional dentures and bridges that only rest on the gums, implants interface directly with the jawbone in order to hold replacement teeth in place. This allows them to provide much greater stability; you’ll be able to chew all your favorite foods and won’t have to worry about your false teeth slipping in your mouth. Here’s what you can expect when you come to Dr. Baldwin for dental implants.
The first step will be to determine whether you’re a good candidate for the treatment. Dental implants require patients to have adequate jawbone and good healing capabilities in order to be successful. We’ll review your medical history and evaluate your current oral health; X-rays may be used to let us examine your bones. Afterwards, we’ll discuss your treatment options with you; depending on what we find, we may recommend additional surgeries such as bone grafts that might be required. Afterwards, we’ll work with you to develop a treatment plan. Don’t be afraid to ask any questions you have; we want you to make a decision that’s right for you!
After initial preparations are complete, it’s time for us to surgically place the dental implant into your jawbone. Anesthesia will be used, so you won’t experience any pain during the actual procedure. You may, however, experience some discomfort for up to 10 days afterwards; we can advise you on how to make this period more comfortable.
Bear in mind that you’ll need a different number of implants depending on how many teeth need replacing. For a single tooth, you’ll only need one implant topped with a crown, while a few missing teeth in a row might require a dental bridge supported by two implants. Full dentures can be supported by an average of four implants.
You’ll need several weeks to fully heal after the surgery. During that time, a process called osseointegration will naturally fuse the metal implant to the jawbone. This is the key to the procedure; being integrated this way allows the implant to provide the stimulation from chewing that natural teeth normally provide, thus keeping the jawbone healthy and strong.
Once recovery is complete, an abutment will be screwed onto the implant, and an impression will be taken to create the replacement tooth/teeth. This will be followed by another period of healing that lasts about four to six weeks; you may receive a temporary crown to wear during this time.
Finally, it’ll be time to give you your permanent restoration to be screwed or cemented onto the abutment. Some implant-retained restorations are removable; you can take them out for daily cleaning. Others are fixed in placed and will need to be brushed and flossed like natural teeth.
Ready to take the first step? Contact us today to schedule your consultation!