Dental implants are now the preferred solution for a missing tooth. Other options—including bridges and dentures—present a number of disadvantages that you can avoid through dental implants.
The placement of dental implants involves several stages and can require from three to nine months. Here’s a brief summary of the steps involved in the dental implant process:
- X-rays – Your dentist will evaluate your bone and gum condition using x-rays or a 3D CT scan.
- Impressions – Your dentist will take an impression of your mouth to create a good replica of your gums and teeth. You will be asked to bite down on the U-shaped plastic or metal impression tray and wait until it sets.
- Tooth extraction – The damaged tooth will be extracted if it is still in place.
- Examination of the jawbone – The dentist will check the condition of the jawbone, especially if the tooth has been missing for a long time.
- Preparation of the jawbone for surgery – If the jawbone is no longer structurally sound, you may need a bone graft. The transplant bone can be sourced from another part of the jaw or body.
- Waiting period – The patient must then allow time for the jaw to heal.
- Placing the metal post – The surgeon will place the metal post of the dental implant in the jawbone.
- Healing period – The patient must then allow additional time for healing.
- Installation of the abutment – When the jawbone is healed, the oral surgeon will install the extension of the metal post.
- Healing of the soft tissues – When the soft tissues are healed, the oral surgeon will make a mold of your teeth and jawbone in preparation for the tooth placement.
- Replacement of the missing tooth – The new tooth will be installed as a final step.
You can expect some discomfort from the procedure as well as some bruising of the skin and minor pain at the implant site. This should subside quickly, and you will be left with a beautiful implant that is durable, attractive, and far easier to care for than dentures. If you are dealing with a missing tooth and live in the Centerville area, contact Layton Implants for a lasting solution.