A New Smile: The Journey To Dental Implants

Dental implants, with their durability and natural appearance, have become the gold standard for tooth replacement. They provide a fixed solution that closely resembles the function and aesthetics of natural teeth. Here's what the process of getting dental implants entails.

Consultation and Planning

The first step in getting dental implants is a comprehensive dental exam. Your dentist will evaluate your oral health and jawbone quality, and determine whether dental implants are the right solution for you. 

This stage may involve taking X-rays or 3D images of your mouth and discussing your medical history to ensure safe and effective treatment planning.

Preparation Stage

Depending on your oral health status, preparatory procedures may be needed before implant placement. If you have a damaged tooth, it will need to be extracted. If your jawbone isn't thick enough or is too soft, you might need bone grafting to provide a solid base for the implant. These procedures require time for healing, which can range from several weeks to a few months.

Implant Placement

Once your mouth has healed and is ready, the next step is placing the dental implant. During this surgical procedure, the dentist places a titanium post into your jawbone, mimicking the root of a tooth. 

Following the implant placement, a period of healing is necessary for osseointegration, where the bone grows around the implant to secure it in place. This process can take several weeks or months.

Abutment Placement

After the implant has successfully integrated with your jawbone, the next stage involves attaching an abutment. The abutment is a small connector post that provides a point of attachment for the artificial tooth. It's secured onto the implant through a minor surgical procedure that exposes the top of the implant so that the abutment can be attached. Local anesthesia is typically used to ensure patient comfort during this process.

In some instances, the abutment can be attached at the same time as the implant placement. However, this depends on individual circumstances and the specific treatment plan outlined by your dentist.

Placement of the Artificial Tooth

Once your gums have healed, the final stage is the placement of the artificial tooth or teeth. Your dentist will take impressions of your mouth to custom-make a dental crown that matches the color, shape, and size of your natural teeth. This crown is then attached to the abutment, completing your smile.

Post-Procedure Care

Just like your natural teeth, dental implants require regular care. Brushing, flossing, and regular dental check-ups are essential to maintaining the health of your implant and surrounding teeth.

For more information on dental implants, contact a professional near you.