Overview of The Dental Implant Process
Dental implants have become today’s preferred solution for missing teeth. Both restoratively and cosmetically, they reestablish the way in which teeth feel and work, while creating a completely natural look. Implants are made of three components: a titanium screw—placed in the jawbone, an abutment—connecting the screw to the crown, and the crown—the final piece that can be seen above the gum line.
It is not uncommon for an adult to be missing a tooth, and we understand how missing a tooth can lead to feelings of anxiety and embarrassment. If this describes you, you are not alone. In fact, approximately 125 million Americans are missing at least one, and the good news? Most are excellent candidates for dental implants. Schedule an appointment with us and find out if dental implants are an ideal solution for you.
Am I a Candidate for Dental Implants?
There are a variety of factors that can indicate whether or not implants are the best option for you. Our expert implantogist can easily evaluate your mouth and determine the health of your jaw and if you would be a candidate for dental implants. If any of the following is true for you, you may benefit from dental implants. You have:
- Fillings or crowns that do not stay in place.
- A tooth that has significant decay.
- Cracked or broken teeth.
- A partial denture or full dentures.
Why Should You See a Specialist for Your Dental Implant?
Choosing an implant specialist to perform your oral surgery is choosing the most qualified and highly trained surgeon within a specialty, specifically, the mouth, face and jaw region. This will not only guarantee the best treatment possible, but also ensure a peace of mind that you are truly in the hands of an expert. The periodontist is specifically trained in the management of the soft tissues of the oral cavity and therefore most skilled in obtaining optimal cosmetic results. Learn more about the advantages of seeing a periodontist for your dental implant on our Why the Periodontist? page
The Process—What to Expect
Consultation and Treatment Planning:
We gather imaging, your medical and dental histories and impressions of your mouth to ensure we have a clear picture of your current health. With that information, we make a plan that guarantees that both your health and budgetary goals are met.
Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT)
Dr. Kleinman implements computer-guided implant surgery to ensure precise and accurate implant placement. From the initial cone beam computerized tomography (CBCT) scans that are taken and analyzed for implant placement planning—right here in our office—to the intra-operative procedure itself, our doctors leave no stone unturned. Safe, optimal results are our number one goal. The information gathered by our CBCT scans is used to:
- Evaluate bone and vital structures.
- Confirm enough bone exists for implant placement.
- Verify the safety of important structure and nerves.
- To create a surgical template that is used to determine the best locations for implant placement.
The Surgical Procedure
The procedure to place an implant takes 30 to 60 minutes for one implant and only 2 to 3 hours for multiple implants. The number of appointments and time required, vary from patient to patient. The surgeon will bring great precision and attention to the details of your case.
Prior to surgery, you may receive antibiotics and for greater comfort, intravenous sedation or nitrous oxide (laughing gas). These options are discussed with you at your consultation appointment. A local anesthetic will be administered to numb the area where the implant will be placed.
When you are comfortable, the surgeon makes a small incision in the gum tissue to reveal the bone, creates space using special instruments, and gently inserts the titanium implant. The top of this implant is often visible through the gum. Sometimes it is better in the early stages of healing to have the implant covered by the gum tissue.
2. Tooth Loss
3. Healed Bone
4. Implant Placed
6. Implant Restored
Versah Densah Drilling System
Dr. Kleinman has adopted the Versah Densah drilling system for dental implant placement to increase bone volume and density during implant placement and possibly eliminate the need for additional bone grafting which can reduce treatment costs to the patient.
The Healing Phase
Now the healing begins. This process is called osseointegration, which is a fusion of the implant to the patient’s jawbone. The length of time varies from person to person, depending upon the quality and quantity of bone. The usual healing time after implant placement is three months but in some cases, implants may be restored immediately after they are placed. The surgeon will advise you on follow-up care and timing. After the initial phase of healing, the surgeon places an abutment (support post) or a healing cap onto the implant during a brief follow-up visit. This second step (many times) can be combined with the initial implant placement procedure.
Occasionally, impressions are made at the time the implant is placed. This enables the crown to be ready when the implants have healed. How long your mouth needs to heal is determined by a variety of factors. Follow-up care (one to four appointments) is usually needed to ensure that your mouth is healing well and to determine when you are ready for the restorative phase of your treatment.
It may be beneficial to perform a soft tissue graft to obtain stronger, more easily cleaned and natural appearing gum tissue in the area around the implant. This process involves moving a small amount of gum tissue from one part of your mouth to the area around the implant. Most often, it is a brief and relatively comfortable procedure.
Whether it’s one tooth or all of your teeth that are being replaced, your dentist will complete the restoration by fitting the replacement tooth (crown) to the dental implant.
Dental Implants Presentation
To provide you with a better understanding of dental implants, we have provided the following multimedia presentation. Many common questions pertaining to dental implants are discussed.
Why Are Bone Grafts Used Before Dental Implants?
Dental implant placement requires adequate jawbone mass and structure. If your tooth has been missing for some time, the adjacent support bone is likely to grow thinner and shrink. This occurs because the root of the natural tooth has to be present to stimulate the bone. As much as one third of your jaw’s thickness can be lost in the year following tooth extraction. If you are missing enough bone, you may benefit from having additional bone grafted into the area. This ensures the implant will be adequately supported when it is placed in the jaw. Read more about this topic on our Bone Grafting for Dental Implants page!
How Many Implants Do I Need?
Most frequently, one implant per missing tooth is placed. Because many of the larger teeth in the back of your jaws have two or three roots, the most common approach is to replace missing back teeth with larger implants.
How Much Do Dental Implants Cost?
We believe dental implants to be the most affordable option because they outlast other tooth replacement approaches, such as bridges and dentures, by several decades. Even though the upfront cost may be more, their longevity makes them the wiser option in the long run. We know that every case and budget is unique, so we are ready to discuss with you our available financing options and your insurance benefits at your consultation. Call our office at Carroll Periodontics & Implant Dentistry Phone Number 410-857-5700 or learn more on our Cost of Dental Implants page!
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