Non-restorable decay, severe gum disease, a failed root canal, and trauma are all indications that you’ll need a dental implant. If you happen to lose an adult tooth, it’s best to get it fixed right away to avoid several severe oral health issues. These issues can include a misaligned bite, sore or infected gums, and even jaw decay.
If you’re facing a possible dental implant procedure, make sure you keep reading to learn about the dental implant steps and what you can expect.
X-Rays and Impressions
Before the surgery takes place, you’ll visit your dentist to take x-rays and get impressions. X-rays are needed for a full evaluation of your mouth including the condition of the bones and gums and identify any warning signs. Impressions are taken to get a replica of your mouth that will be used to make your custom implant.
Before your surgery, your dentist will provide you with some pre-op instructions that are very important to follow. These instructions may include:
- Rinsing your mouth with an anti-bacterial mouthwash
- Taking antibiotics to prevent infection
- Eating instructions
- Making arrangements for someone to pick you up afterward to drive you home
If the decaying tooth is still in the mouth, it needs to be taken out. The extraction can be done at the same time as the implantation. A local injection will be used to ensure a pain-free experience. Depending on the complexity of the procedure, it won’t take long, but you may feel pressure as your dentist removes your tooth. To avoid dry socket after the extraction, you’ll be asked to avoid smoking and drinking through a straw.
Drilling for the Implant
After the extraction, your dentist will drill a hole in your jawbone. Don’t worry; it’s not as bad as it sounds. It will feel similar to having a cavity drilled. The dentist will need to insert the implant deep into the jawbone to act as a root for the newly implanted tooth.
Expect this part of the procedure to last one to two hours. After the hole is drilled, you’ll be fine to go home and go about your daily activities — except for eating. Because of the gap, you’ll be restricted to a soft-food diet for about a week.
Placing the Implant and Abutment
The dentist will cut your gum to expose the bone. A post is then placed that will act as the root of the tooth. After a few weeks, your jawbone will fuse with the implant. Once your implant is stable, an abutment is placed on top. This piece will connect the crown to the implant.
Once your gums have healed, you will get another set of impressions used to make the crown — the part that looks like a real tooth. The crown can’t be placed until your jawbone has healed enough to be able to support the weight of the new tooth. Once your crown is attached to the abutment, you’re all done! And you’re left with a brand new smile.
Complete Dental Implant Steps
Now you know the dental implant steps that will be taken during your upcoming procedure. It’s better to be in the know, then to have surprises along the way. Just remember this process takes a while and you won’t be going with a new tooth after the first visit.
Don’t hesitate to ask questions. We’re here to make your experience as pleasant as possible. So contact us today and let us take care of your teeth.