Are you missing a tooth? Nearly 120 million Americans are missing at least one tooth. Are you considering dental implants to fix a missing tooth problem?
If you want to get dental implants, you are probably wondering what to expect. Keep reading to learn more about the multiple-step dental implant process.
When you meet with your dentist during your first consultation, your dentist will discuss your options to find out what is best for you. Ask questions to learn more about dental implants, so come with any questions you have.
At this appointment, your dentist will most likely take X-rays and get an impression for the placement of the implant. They will also determine if your jawbone is strong enough for the implant. If your jawbone is not strong enough, you may need to discuss and consider bone grafting options before starting the dental implant procedure.
If you have a tooth that is damaged or cracked, you will need that tooth removed or pulled. This is a procedure in itself as you will need a local anesthetic. You will need to let this area heal.
Placing Dental Implant
Once you are healed from any tooth removal or bone grafting, your dentist will insert the implant by cutting into the gum and then drilling into the jawbone. Typically, this piece is a titanium rod and it serves as the tooth root in your jawbone.
Don’t worry you won’t be able to feel the actual implant as it heals. You will have to wait for your implant to properly fuse to your jawbone for the next step. This can take anywhere from four to seven months.
Placing the Healing Cap
When the implant is fused to the jawbone, the next step is for your dentist to place the healing cap at the end of the implant. This will be flush with your gum.
This piece is a metal collar that helps guide the gum tissue to heal around the cap. It prepares your gums for the attachment of the abutment and crown. This process takes about 10 to 14 days to heal.
Abutment and Temporary Crown
Now that the tissue around your cap is healed, your dentist will place the dental crown abutment. This piece is screwed into the implant. Then the dentist will add a temporary crown for about four to six weeks. This helps the gums to heal.
While you have your temporary crown, your dentist will get your permanent crown made. This can take about two to three weeks.
After your crown is ready and you are happy with the shape and color, your dentist will either cement or screw your crown to the abutment.
Crowns with cement look better because you cannot see a screw in the hole of the crown. However, your dentist can more easily remove a crown attached with a screw if there is an issue with either the implant or surrounding tissue.
The Dental Implant Process Take Time
As you can see, there are several steps to the dental implant process. However, you need to make sure you give each step proper time to heal for the best result.
Looking for more ways to take care of your teeth? Check out our dental section today.