Dental implant surgery is a life-changer. This restorative procedure is the only one that replaces the tooth root so the prosthetic can function just like a natural tooth. Once the procedure is complete and the mouth heals, patients feel like a brand-new person.
The benefits of dental implants are endless. These include:
- Improved smile, facial support, and speech
- Heightened self-esteem
- Easier eating
- Better oral health
- Recovered sense of taste
Keep these things in mind as you prepare for your new and improved smile. Continue reading to learn exactly what to expect before, during, and after dental implant surgery.
During the initial consultation, your oral surgeon will perform a comprehensive dental exam, take an x-ray, and take impressions of your teeth.
Once this is complete, your customized treatment plan (including the procedure and expected time frame) will be created. After all your questions and concerns have been addressed, the oral surgeon will schedule the first stage of the procedure.
Bone Grafting and Teeth Extraction
Not every patient needs bone grafting or teeth extraction, but if you do, the oral surgeon will perform either one or both procedures to prepare your mouth for implant placement.
Before dental implants can be placed, the mouth must be completely healed. For tooth extraction, this takes between seven and ten days. The healing period for bone grafting is much longer, ranging between four and twelve months.
Dental implant surgery typically lasts one to two hours. The oral surgeon will administer anesthesia or sedation so you will be relaxed during the procedure. A tiny incision is made where the titanium rod is inserted into the jawbone. This screw-like rod serves as the solid support for your new false tooth or teeth and as the anchor that encourages jawbone regeneration. The oral surgeon then closes the gums and the surgery is complete!
Doesn’t sound so bad, right? Now that the most important step is over, your oral surgeon will schedule you for the next procedure.
Depending on the case, healing time can range ffrom a few months to a year. During this time the jawbone integrages with the implant (a process called osseointegration). After this period, the patient will be cleared for the abutment and crown, bridge, or denture placement.
This minor surgery is a simple but necessary part of the dental implant process. Abutments are used to connect the artificial tooth to the dental implant. Sometimes, oral surgeons place the abutment at the same time as the implant which may save some time in the long run. Ask your oral surgeon if that is an option for you.
Here are the three basic steps of abutment placement:
- The gums are reopened to expose the dental implant
- The abutment is secured onto the implant
- The gum tissue is closed around the abutment
The gums need about two weeks to heal after this procedure.
Finally, the custom prosthetic tooth (designed by you and the oral surgeon) will be placed. This could be a single crown, denture, or bridge. The restoration is permanently and securely placed onto the abutment and your smile is returned to its natural beauty.
Between procedures, be sure to follow your oral surgeon’s aftercare instructions which include general guidelines, hygiene and diet recommendations, and reasons for concern. Following these directions is essential to a successful recovery.
Questions or Concerns?
Contact your oral surgeon with any other questions or concerns about your upcoming dental implant surgery.
If you haven’t scheduled your procedure and would like to meet with our Colleyville oral surgery specialist, Dr. Chris Tye, call (817) 552-3223 today.