Implant Surgery Procedure
Before you start the Implant surgery procedure. You need to have your implant surgery approved before anything else. Here are the steps that you should expect to happen. In many ways, preparing for the implant takes longer than the dental implant procedure itself.
- Initial Consultation: You will first have to undergo a consultation with a prosthodontist before any work is done. This specialist will determine if you’re a qualified candidate for implant dentistry or not.
- Comprehensive Examination: Your dentist will have you undergo an exam where he’ll review your dental and medical history. He’ll also create impressions of your gums and teeth (for the sake of creating teeth models) plus take dental x-rays of your jaw, particularly the area where the missing tooth or teeth are.
- CT Scan of the Mouth: There are also cases wherein a computer tomography scan (also known as a CAT or CT scan) of your mouth is required so that the dentist knows what he has to work with. It assists him in determining how much jawbone is available for implantation or if bone grafts are called for (particularly those who lack a strong jaw or chin will need bone augmentation).
- Nerves and Sinuses: The CT scan also assists in locating structures such as sinuses and nerves that should be avoided while doing implant surgery. The last thing you want to happen is to suffer from nerve damage or break your sinuses while attempting to regain the tooth that you’ve lost through restorative means.
If there’s not enough bone in your jaw to hold an implant according to x-rays or the CT scan, the dentist can discuss options for bone augmentation or buildup.
As noted in the earlier sections, grafting might be called for in order to ensure there’s enough bone for the post to embed itself in. Otherwise, the dental implant procedure might fail and end up dislodging itself when you apply the regular biting forces of the human mandible unto your implant.
- What to Expect with Bone Grafting: When it comes to augmenting your jaw, it typically involves taking bone from other parts of your jaw/hip/chin, through a donor, or through artificial bone material (calcium phosphate or hydroxyapatite) and adding it to your jaw so that an implant can anchor itself deep into your mouth like a real tooth root. Processed pig, cow, or human cadaver bone can also be utilized.
- What to Expect with Bone Distraction: A bone distraction is different from a bone graft in that it’s a surgical procedure that induces the body to grow more bone at the site where it’s needed the most versus putting bone material there and fusing it with your jaw. It involves using pins and screws to pull apart existing bone, which causes your body to grow more bone to fill in the gaps.
If one of these procedures is needed before you can proceed to the actual dental implant procedure, it will probably take four to twelve months for the bone to be ready for grafting and implantation.
Traditional Implant Surgery Procedure
The traditional implant surgery procedure requires two procedures, with three to six months between each. The extra months are for the sake of allowing the patient to heal first.
- Initial Incision: In the first procedure, a small part of your gums are cut where the implant will be placed (the tooth socket that the gum is covering). The cut is necessary in order to gain access to the tooth socket where your missing teeth used to be.
- Cutting and Drilling: After the small gum incision has been made, your dentist will then drill right into the bone. This is for the sake of placing the metal implant or post itself into the hole in your bone. After implantation is complete, the incision on the gums is then stitched and then allowed to heal.
- Healing Period and Second Procedure: After three to six months of healing has taken place, you can then procedure with the second part of the traditional dental implant procedure. This involves making a new cut to expose the implant. From there, a healing cap or collar is screwed atop the stud.
- Healing Cap Removal: The healing cap is called as such because it’s designed to induce healing of the surrounding gum tissue. After a few weeks have passed, the healing cap is then taken off.
- Abutment and Crown Placement: The aforementioned abutment is now put into place for the sake of being the supportive element to the final crown. The abutment is necessary in order to ensure a tight fit for the crown that won’t easily get dislodged due to human biting forces.
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