Dental implants can replicate the structure of a natural tooth, and the devices tend to be quite durable and stable in comparison to other tooth replacement options. When pursuing this treatment, it’s important for patients to know what to expect in terms of the implant placement surgery and follow-up care and maintenance afterward.
Dental surgery is a requirement for patients who want to get a dental implant. The device is surgically inserted into the jaw, and over the course of the next several months, the surrounding bone forms an attachment with the implant’s titanium surface. That process – osseointegration – gives dental implants their longevity, among other characteristics.
The process begins when patients come in to the office for their initial appointment, when the oral surgeon collects the information needed to plan the implant placement procedure. The surgeon will visually examine the patient’s jaw and take x-rays to determine where the implant should be placed.
The next step, the dental surgery involved in dental implant placement, is often completed in an outpatient setting, and depending on the number of implants being inserted into the jaw, it can be finished in a matter of hours.
The oral surgeon uses a local anesthetic to numb the surgical site, and a large number of patients also choose to have some sort of sedation for additional comfort. Your surgeon will discuss your sedation options with you. If you do choose sedation, make arrangements to have a responsible adult escort you home after the appointment.
Before you leave the office, the surgeon will give you thorough post-operative instructions for self-care in the days immediately following the procedure.
After the procedure, the patient will need to follow up with the surgeon periodically to have the healing process monitored. When osseointegration is complete, the patient will be discharged from the oral surgeon’s care but will continue to follow with a general dentist for routine care like cleanings and check-ups.
If you are considering dental implants and have any questions about any part of the treatment or placement procedure, don’t hesitate to call our office to ask about the process or schedule a consultation. A member of our knowledgeable surgical team would be happy to provide any information that you might need.