Dental implants are becoming more and more popular as people realize they are the next best thing to natural teeth. However, it is important to understand what the process is like to get an implant-supported prosthesis. Unlike a traditional dental restoration, the process is more invasive and requires at least one surgical procedure. Dr. Robert Gauthier is a Worcester, MA restorative dentist that works with local oral surgeons to offer teeth implants to patients with tooth loss. Below, we will show you what the process is like to have your teeth replaced with an implant supported restoration.
The Dental Implant Process
Every dental implant candidate will need to under-go an examination to determine if they qualify for this type of teeth replacement solution. Sometimes pre-treatments are necessary before the patient can move forward with the process. This includes gum disease therapy, dental fillings, extractions, or bone grafts. Once these are completed, then we will be able to move on to the first step in the dental implant process.
Dental Implant Placement
A local oral surgeon will surgically place the implant fixtures in the jaw at the locations specified in your treatment plan. The number of implants you need it determined by the number of teeth you are missing and what kind of prosthesis is being secured. The surgery involves cutting open the gums with a small incision to expose the underlying bone. A hole is then drilled into the bone where the implant will be inserted. After this procedure, you may experience some discomfort while the soft tissues heal.
This step in the process takes about three to six months to complete. Here, the implant and surrounding bone will fuse together. Essentially, the implant will be combining with the bone. This is what makes the implant strong and stable enough to support the new teeth or tooth.
Once the implants fully fused with the surrounding bone, a small metal piece will be attached to the implants. The abutment is responsible for connecting the prosthesis to the dental implants.
Attaching the Dental Prosthesis
The last step in the process involves attaching the dental prosthesis. This will be a dental crown if you are missing a single tooth, a dental bridge if you are missing several teeth in a row, or a denture if you are missing full arch of teeth. Once the false teeth or tooth is attached, you can enjoy your brand new smile!
How long will the dental implant process take?
This time frame will vary for each patient. Generally speaking, it should take between six and nine months. However, there are many factors that could make it take much longer. Some people may need to build back up their jaw bone if they have suffered from bone loss. Others may need extractions or other dental treatments. In these cases, the patient may require time to heal before the dental implants can be surgically placed. For some, the entire process can take up to a year.
Is the dental implant process painful?
For the most part, the implant process is painless. The surgery to insert the implant posts into the jaw bone will be completed under local or general anesthesia. You will not be able to feel pain during the surgery. However, when the anesthesia wears off, you will experience some discomfort since it is considered an invasive procedure. You should feel pretty comfortable during the rest of the steps in the process.
Contact Russell Street Dental Associates today to learn more about the dental implant process. You can reach us at (508) 791-1777 or by requesting an appointment online. Our helpful dental staff is ready to help your through the entire process.