If you are missing teeth, the dental implant procedure can replace them in a natural-looking way.
What is the dental implant procedure?
When placing a dental implant, which is a tiny prosthetic device used to help replace lost teeth or a single tooth, we use a dental implant procedure. This procedure consists of an examination, the oral surgery to place the implant into the jawbone and under the gum line, and the placement of a new fake tooth. This dental implant procedure is designed to give you a prosthetic that will help support a strong and sustainable fake tooth. We start every dental implant procedure with a comprehensive examination. This is to determine if there is anything that might delay, hamper, or preclude your dental implant from being placed. While there are very few factors that can actually prevent you from getting a dental implant, there are numerous things that may require our attention before we get to the actual implant portion of the procedure. During the examination, we will use dental imaging to examine the density and strength of the jawbone, check for cavities and decay, and ensure that every aspect of your mouth is healthy enough to proceed with oral surgery. The second step of a dental implant procedure is to place the implant into the jawbone, a procedure carried out by a skilled oral surgeon. During this process, the surgeon will leave an abutment, or a small post, available to connect the outer tooth, which is also known as the dental crown, to the actual dental implant. Typically, there is a healing period after this procedure, and then we will place your new dental crown and you will leave with a brand new tooth or set of teeth.
During the dental implant procedure, why do you measure the jawbone so thoroughly?
Think of the dental implant as the foundation of a house, and the jawbone is the ground into which we must place the foundation. If the ground is weak, then the entire foundation, and thus the house itself, will not be stable. To avoid this, we want to make sure that before we do a dental implant procedure, your jawbone is dense enough to sustain the implant and provide the support the new tooth needs. Often, patients who have experienced tooth loss also find that their jawbone has deteriorated through a natural process known as resorption. Our goal is to make sure that this has not caused your jawbone to become so weak that it cannot withstand the implant. In the event that your jawbone does not have the required density or is too weak, we can perform a bone graft to give us a strong area in which to place the dental implant.
Is the dental implant procedure impacted if I need a bone graft?
A bone graft is a restorative procedure that simply gives your bone the support it needs by augmenting, or building up, the bone. The procedure is done at the dentist office, but does require a healing period of around six months before we can proceed to the next phase of the dental implant procedure.