Implants Step by Step
How is a Dental Implant Placed
Before any implants are placed, it is important that we first assess the health of your teeth and gums. If there are any signs of gum disease or decay, these must first be treated using hygiene or periodontal treatment. Thereafter, your treatment will be planned following several x-rays and, in some cases, a CT scan to assess that bone quality and check for nearby anatomical structures to avoid before any drilling.
The procedure is usually carried out under local anesthesia, if it is a long procedure or the patient is very anxious IV sedation is sometimes used. The gum where the implant is to be placed is cut and lifted and a small hole around the same size as a tooth root is drilled into the jawbone at the precise location of the planned implant.
The titanium implant is tightly fitted into this socket and the gum is stitched back over the implant, at this stage a healing cap may also be placed to allow the healing gum to form in a shape similar to the planned tooth. If there is insufficient bone material to accommodate the implant, a bone graft may be required, or the dentist may use smaller-sized mini implants if suitable.
Once the implant has been placed, it is left to heal and integrate with the jawbone for between six weeks to six months. The bone tissue will grow and anchor itself into the microscopic rough surface of the implant. During the healing period, patients are given temporary teeth which will usually take the form of temporary bridges or they will continue to wear a denture during this time.
After healing has completed, the gum is again lifted or the healing cap removed and impressions are taken using an impression coping to begin production of the Implant Crown. Once returned from the dental lab a post called an Abutment is attached to the implant and a crown is then cemented onto this. Four to six weeks later, when the surrounding gum tissue has matured, the final impressions can be taken for the permanent restoration to be fitted to the implant.
After the final restoration has been fitted review appointment will take place 3-6 monthly for the first year and annually thereafter.
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