17 Jul Dental Implant Procedure: What to Expect Before, During, and After
Per-Ingvar Brånemark, a Swedish orthopaedic surgeon invented dental implants in 1952. Nowadays, dental implant procedure has become very common and is now considered the standard of care for prosthetic replacement of missing teeth.
A surgical fixture placed in the jawbone, dental implants are fused with the bone over a period of months. In essence, dental implants act as replacement for the missing tooth’s root. This artificial tooth root will also hold the bridge or replacement tooth in place.
A dental implant is also considered the closest thing to mimicking the natural tooth since it can stand on its own without affecting any of the teeth nearby. The fusion process that occurs between the jawbone and the dental implant is called osseointegration.
Many dental implants are made of titanium. Since titanium is not recognised as a foreign object by the body, it can easily integrate with the bone. Advancements in both dentistry and technology has dramatically improved the outcomes of dental implant procedure.
To date, the procedure’s success rate is close to 98 percent. If you are considering getting a dental implant and would like to know more about it, click here.
What Happens Before, During, and After a Dental Implant Procedure?
During the consultation and planning stage, the site in the mouth where the dental implant will be placed will be visually examined. When needed, CT scans and X-rays will also be requested and the results looked into.
The quality as well as the quantity of the jawbone will be assessed to gauge if more bone is needed to hold the implant in place. If the jawbone is sufficient and in excellent condition, the patient will be asked to return for the surgical procedure to start.
If the site of the dental implant still has an existing damaged tooth, it will be extracted. In most cases, an alveolar bone graft is also done to ensure the bone becomes a solid base for the implant. The site will then be allowed to heal from 2 to 6 months.
Once a solid base is available, the site is deemed ready for the implant. During the placement appointment, the dental implant will be placed into the bone using a special drill. Once done, a “healing cap” is also placed over the implant. The gum is also stitched up. This is where the healing phase starts.
During the healing phase, a temporary denture may be used to replace the missing teeth. This is often done for aesthetic purposes. Healing time will typically depend on the quality of the bone. Healing time can also require anywhere from 2 to 6 months.
During the healing time, the implant will integrate with the bone. While the surgery heals, it is also important to ensure that no force or stress is placed on the dental implants during the healing period. Follow-up appointments to check the surgical site is typically required. This is done to help ensure healing is going according to plan and no infection develops.
Once the healing period is over, the dentist will check if the implant has successfully fused with the bone. Once established that it has, the abutment will be connected to the dental implant through a screw. The abutment will hold the crown or the replacement tooth in place.
An impression (mold) of the abutment in the mouth will be taken and the implant crown will be custom-made based on the impression taken. The implant crown is either secured to the abutment using a screw or cemented in place.