Maybe you’re thinking about getting a tooth implant or perhaps you’ve already made the decision to go ahead. So, what happens next?
The thought of having a dental implant surgically placed into your mouth can be quite daunting, but it needn’t be. We tell you all you need to know about the tooth implant procedure so you’re better informed and more at ease about the procedure.
What is a tooth implant procedure?
In simple terms, the tooth implant procedure involves replacing a missing tooth root with a metal implant, usually made from titanium. It’s then covered with a dental crown to complete your smile restoration.
How long does the tooth implant procedure take?
It’s difficult to give you an exact time scale because every patient is different, and some heal faster than others. There are, however, a few common factors involved which include:
- Your oral health
- The number of teeth being replaced
- The location of the teeth being replaced
- Whether a tooth is to be extracted before the dental implant procedure
These factors will also determine the number of trips you’ll need to make to your dentist during the treatment period. For instance, surgery for a conventional single tooth implant usually takes around an hour, whereas digital computer guided implants takes between 10 and 20 minutes to place on average. Naturally, placing two or mores implants will take longer. Once placed, your dental implants are likely to take between 4 to 6 months for the all-important bone fusion (known as osseointegration) to take place.
The Tooth Implant Procedure – Step by Step
Step 1 – Initial consultation
Your journey starts with an initial consultation with your chosen dental clinic. The dentist will discuss your medical and dental history and determine the level of bone in your jaw by using dental x-rays and CT Cone Beam technology.
Because implants are placed into the jaw, it’s necessary with traditional implants to have enough bone to support them. If this isn’t the case, then don’t despair, it doesn’t mean you can’t have tooth implants. Instead, you may need to undergo a bone graft to build more bone.
Once it’s determined that you’re a suitable candidate for tooth implants, a lot of planning goes on in the background before you undergo surgery. This planning ensures that the surgeon knows exactly where to place your implant and at what trajectory in order to miss any nerves or sinuses. Planning complete, an appointment is scheduled for your surgery at the dental clinic.
Step 2 – Implant installation
You’ll be given a local anaesthetic to number your mouth so that you don’t feel almost any pain. Nervous patients often opt for sedation too, to help them relax.
Once you’re numb an incision will be made into your gums to expose your jawbone. A precision drill is then used to drill a small hole (or holes if you’re having several implants placed) into which your dental implants will be inserted.
You may feel a little discomfort, but most patients report that the procedure wasn’t as painful as having a tooth extracted.
Your gums will be stitched back up and you’ll be sent home to wait for the bone tissue to grow around the implant, in a process known as osseointegration. This helps secure the implant in place and makes it a permanent fixture in your mouth.
Step 3 – Attachment of the abutment
Nowadays the abutment which connects the false tooth or teeth with the implant is often attached during the initial surgery but sometimes you may require a second, shorter surgery. The gum is opened back up to expose the implant post and the abutment is attached. A short period of healing then takes place.
Step 4 – Preparing for your new tooth or teeth
Once your implant/s are fully stabilised you’ll return once more to your chosen dental clinic where your dentist will take an impression of your mouth in order to have your permanent crown or bridge fabricated to top your dental implant.
Don’t worry you won’t be left without any teeth! Instead you’ll be fitted with a temporary crown while you wait for your permanent one to be made.
Step 5 – Receiving your new tooth or teeth
This is the exciting part of the tooth implant procedure where finally your permanent crown or bridge is fitted and cemented in place.
Now you’ve got a fully functioning attractive smile that you can be proud of. Even better, you can start eating all your favourite foods once more.
If you’re considering dental implants to replace your missing teeth, then why not book an implant consultation with Dental 266? Based in Burwood, we’re one of Sydney’s leading tooth implant dentists, having treated hundreds of simple and more complex cases since we were founded in in 2008. Our highly qualified dentists use Nobel Biocare, one of the leading implant brands.
Call Dental 266 today on 02 9051 0600 and see how we can help restore your smile.