The process by which dental implants are done is a surgical procedure that replaces tooth roots with metal posts that are screw-like in nature. It is done in order to replace damaged or missing teeth with artificial teeth that look and function much like real ones do. How it is done depends on the type of implant you will be receiving and the condition of your jawbone. However, regardless of all of that, all dental implants occur in stages and can involve several different procedures.
When you go to the dentist, the first thing he or she will do to prepare your mouth for dental implants is to remove your damaged tooth or teeth. Your dentist will then prepare your jawbone for surgery. This may include doing a bone graft. A bone graft is done when your jawbone is not thick enough or is too soft to hold the implant. If that is the case, then either a piece of bone is removed from another part of your jaw or another part of your body or an artificial bone is used. Once the graft is complete, you will be left to heal and so that the new bone can grow. This may take several months.
Once your jaw bone is ready, holes will be drilled into it where the dental implant metal post will be placed. In addition, a temporary denture will be put in your mouth as you wait for additional healing to take place. At the point when the metal implant post is placed in your jawbone, a process known as osseointegration takes place and the jawbone grows into and unites with the surface of the dental implant. This process can take several months and helps to provide a solid base for your new artificial tooth or teeth.
When the growth process is complete, your cosmetic dentist will reopen your gums in order to attach an abutment. He or she will then close the gum tissue around it. After the abutment is put in place, your gums must heal for a week or two before the dental implant process can be completed. Once the abutment is attached, impressions will be taken of your mouth in order to create a crown. However, the dental crown cannot be put in place until your jawbone is strong enough to support the use of the new tooth or teeth.
You need to be aware that dental implants are no different than any other dental procedure. Therefore, each time you go to the dentist during the process, you can expect some discomfort including which may include swelling of your gums and face, bruising of your skin and gums, pain at the implant site, and some minor bleeding. In addition, you may also need pain medications or antibiotics.
In many cases, implants are not covered by insurance as they are considered a cosmetic procedure. However, payment plans and financing are usually available and it is worth having a conversation with your dentist in order to find out what your options are.