If you have a missing or severely decayed tooth, chances are you may need a dental implant to restore your smile. A dental implant, or artificial dental root, is made from titanium and is equally as strong and durable as your natural, healthy teeth. As an added bonus, they look completely natural, too! So how does the process of getting implants work? Here are a few things you can expect:
1. First, you and your dentist will determine if this procedure is right for you.
Before beginning the process of getting your dental implant, it is important to determine if this solution will work for you. During your initial consultation with your dentist at Oradent Associates, we’ll review your medical and dental history, take impressions of your teeth, and take X-rays to ensure you’re a good candidate for the procedure. If you have structural issues in the jawbone, suffer from a chronic illness, or use tobacco products, dental implants may not be your best option. That said, should your jawbone need added support, you may be able to have an additional procedure to build up the bone in preparation for the dental implant.
2. The dental implant procedure is typically a two-step process.
Once you’ve been cleared for dental implants, the process of getting the device will require two steps, with approximately 3-6 months of healing in between. The first step will entail placing the implant itself, while the second will involve the placement of the crown over the implant.
During the first procedure, your dentist will numb the area of the implant with local anesthesia, just as if you were getting a regular dental filling or crown. Then, they will drill a hole into the bone where the titanium implant will be inserted. After the implant is securely placed, the dentist will close up the area to complete the surgery.
After the implant has healed and successfully fused with your jawbone, it is time for the second half of the dental implant process. Your dentist will expose the implant and attach a “healing collar” to allow the gum tissue to conform to the gum tissue. Afterwards, the implant post and porcelain crown are made together and screwed into the implant. The crown will ultimately cover your implant and allow the device to blend seamlessly with the rest of your smile.
3. The timeframe for your procedure may vary.
The shortest typical timeframe for the dental implant procedure—from the time of the first incision to the final placement of the crown— is about three months for a device in the lower jaw and six months in the upper jaw. However, should you need a bone graft to reinforce your jawbone, this process can take longer.
4. Maintaining your implants is easier than you’d think.
If taken care of correctly, dental implants boast a 98% success rate and should last you a lifetime. Luckily, caring for your implants is as easy as taking care of your natural teeth. Simply maintain a good dental hygiene routine by brushing at least twice daily and flossing every night. You’ll also want to continue scheduling a biannual checkup with your dentist to ensure your smile is in good health!
5. You’ll love the results!
Because the dental implant fuses with your jawbone, you can expect the device to be as strong and sturdy as a healthy tooth. Also, because we customize the crown to your smile, you can rest assured that the dental implant will blend in perfectly with the rest of your smile.
Ready to schedule your consultation with Oradent Associates to see if dental implants are right for you? Call our Chicago office today to set up your appointment!