Are you considering getting dental implants but question what the process entails and how much time you can expect to devote to treatment? Dr. Joshua Kennedy of Turnagain Dental has you covered. Read on as Dr. Kennedy reveals a step-by-step look at the dental implant placement process.
Step One: Consultation and Planning
The first step of the implant placement process is to meet with Dr. Kennedy for an initial consultation. During this appointment, he performs a thorough exam of your mouth, and may take X-rays, photographs or other records. Dr. Kennedy looks closely at the health and condition of your jawbone to ensure it can adequately retain and support your implant post or posts.
Once Dr. Kennedy has a baseline understanding of your specific needs and your oral health, he will explain your implant options. Together, you will determine the best way to proceed, and Dr. Kennedy can give you a loose timeline of your implant placement.
Step Two: Post Placement
Assuming you do not need any bone grafting, the next step of implant placement is to secure the post or screw that functions as an anchor for your artificial tooth or teeth. This requires a surgical procedure to create an opening in the jawbone and insert the post or screw. You will receive anesthesia and possibly sedation so you will not feel anything during this procedure.
Step Three: Osseointegration
Once the post is placed, it is left to heal. During this period of time, called osteointegration, the post becomes part of your jawbone’s anatomy to create a solid foundation for the artificial tooth or teeth.
Your implant post may have an abutment (connector piece) already attached to the top; otherwise, that piece may need to be placed later in the process. A temporary crown may be placed over the implant post while it heals.
Step Four: Restoring the Implant Post
Once your implant post, jawbone and gum tissue have healed, it is time to make and attach the custom teeth to the top of the post. When replacing a single tooth, Dr. Kennedy typically uses crowns. Your crown will be designed to match your surrounding teeth in color, shape and size, so the end result should look seamless.
Depending on your dental health, which teeth need to be replaced and whether you require any additional procedures (e.g., bone grafting), the entire placement process can take several months up to a year. Once your implant has been placed, it can last the rest of your life with the proper care.
To learn more about dental implants, please call or email Turnagain Dental today.