What is the Dental Implant Process?
The dental implant process is the process of getting surgery to place an implant in which artificial teeth or dentures are attached. The dental implant process can happen same-day or after a healing time. The recovery time, however, depends on many factors.
The dental implant process starts with determining which method you will need. After that has been decided a surgery date will be set. The surgery involves one appointment with five steps in which the dental implant is placed.
The first step in the dental implant surgery process is making an incision in the gums to expose the jaw bone where the dental implant will go. This is when the dentist will drill a hole into the jaw bone to place the implant. The second step is drilling what is called a pilot hole into the jaw bone. The pilot hole is made by using a high-speed drill. This prevents burning and pressure necrosis of the bone. Pressure Necrosis is when excessive torque is placed on the implant at the time of placement. Then they will use another drill to expand the pilot hole by using progressively wider drills to fit the implant. This drill is used at a lower speed than the first one. Caution is taken to not overheat the jaw bone and cause damage. Saline or water spray is used to help keep the temperature at a low level.
Now it is time to secure the dental implant. The dental implant placement is a precise process of getting it secured but also not overloading the surrounding bone and causing long-lasting problems. The final step in the process of getting dental implants is to close up the incision made in the first step. This is to help the gums heal and create a thick healthy band of tissue around the implant during the healing.
Dental Implant Methods
There are four different dental implant methods available. The first is the Single Dental Implant. In cases where just a single tooth is missing, the single dental implant option replicates the natural tooth. This method can offer several benefits such as preserving the integrity of the adjacent teeth and preventing bone loss where a tooth has been lost.
The Single Lower Denture option secures a lower denture with dental implants giving you natural-looking teeth secured in a supportive base. This method can be used to replace a small group of teeth, an entire upper arch, an entire lower arch or both upper and lower arches.
A Secure Upper Denture secures your existing upper denture with dental implants. You’ll gain the same confidence in having natural teeth without the worry of loose dentures.
Finally, All on 4 Dental Implants. This method refers to “all” of the teeth in either the upper for lower jaw being supported by dental implants. This method is considered a permanent solution and will last upwards of 20 years with proper care.
The Healing Process for Dental Implants
Osseointegration is important in the healing process. It is when the metal material of the dental implant and the bone surrounding the implant make a bond. Research suggests that the initial stability of the dental implant in the bone is more important than recovery time. The recovery time will differ depending on the person receiving the dental implants. The density of the bone where the dental implants are placed play into the recovery time as well.
The aftercare for dental implants is similar to your everyday oral hygiene. Although, when using dental floss, you need to keep in mind that there is a more precarious blood supply to the gums and use caution as to not be too rough. The crown should be expected to need maintenance or repairs roughly every ten years. Some things that can affect that timeline is the position of the person’s mouth, the force from the surrounding teeth, and the restoration material used. Dentures used with dental implants will need to be looked at more frequently. Depending on the type of attachment you could be looking at the dentures needing to be changed or refreshed every one to two years.