Dental implants are gaining popularity because they are an effective option for replacing missing or damaged teeth. They are different from other tooth replacement options since they are more durable and stable. Dr. Elizabeth Duling offers dental implants for patients missing one or more teeth. Patients interested in the tooth replacement solution should be familiar with the process. Read more about the dental implant process from Owens Cross Roads, AL dentist, Dr. Duling.
The Dental Implant Procedure
The dental implant process typically involves several steps, including an initial consultation, implant placement surgery, healing and integration, and attachment of the artificial tooth or teeth.
Initial Consult and Evaluation
Each dental implant candidate will begin the process with a consult and thorough evaluation. You will meet with your dentist where they will review your medical history, take x-rays and other necessary diagnostics, and evaluate your oral health. This will include a full exam of your teeth, gums, and jawbone. Your dentist will be making sure you have enough bone density to support the implant fixtures and determining the best place to put them.
Your dentist will develop a treatment plan if you are a candidate for dental implants. They will gear it towards your specific needs and goals. It will include the number of implants you need, the type of implants, where they need to go, and what type of dental restoration you will need.
Implant Placement Surgery
The next step is the actually place the implants in the jaw. Dr. Duling works with talented, local oral surgeons for this step of the process. They will make an incision in your gums to expose the jaw bone. Then they will drill a small hole where each dental implant will need to go. Next, they will carefully insert the implant fixtures into the holes. The last step is to place a healing cap on the implant and close up the gums around it.
This surgical procedure is typically done under local anesthesia. You will not feel any pain during the procedure but may experience some swelling, bruising, and minor discomfort afterwards.
Healing and Integration
After surgery, there is a long period of healing and integration. It typically lasts between 3 and 6 months. During this time, the implants and the bone will fuse together. This is called osseointegration.
It is important to take good care of your oral health during this period. Follow all your dentists’ instructions to care for and maintain the implant site. You may need to stick to a soft diet for a while and avoid hard or crunchy foods. Good oral hygiene will help prevent infection and help the implants thrive.
Attachment of Artificial Tooth or Teeth
The last step in the process is to secure your new teeth. Once the implant fixtures are fully fused with the bone, your dentist will secure the connector piece, the abutment, to each implant fixture. This is a small metal piece that will help bring the implant and the dental restoration together.
Dr. Duling will secure the new dental restoration directly to the abutment. It may be a dental crown secured to one dental implant if you are missing only a single tooth. Multiple dental implants are used if you are missing several teeth and your dentist will secure a dental bridge. Between 4 and 8 dental implants are used to secure a denture if you are missing all the teeth on an arch.
- Implant Dentistry: Overview
- Dental Implants FAQs
- Benefits of Dental Implants
- Implant-Supported Crown
- Implant-Supported Bridge
- Implant-Supported Denture
Book your consult today with Dr. Duling to learn more about the dental implant process in Owens Cross Roads, AL. Even though the process takes much longer to complete compared to other teeth replacement solutions, dental implants offer a long lasting and effective solution for replace missing teeth.