Dental implant surgery is usually an outpatient surgery that is performed in stages and there is a recovery time between the two operations. The surgical procedures for dental implants under anesthesia involve a variety of processes, including:
The whole process may take several months from start to finish. Most of that time is spent on treatment and waiting for new bone to grow in your jaw. Depending on your situation, the particular method used or the materials used, certain steps can sometimes be combined.
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The process of planning for a dental implant may involve a variety of specialists, including: a specialist in oral and maxillofacial conditions (oral and maxillofacial surgeon), a dentist specializing in the treatment of structures that support teeth, such as the gums, and Bone (periodontist), a dentist who designs and fits dentures (prosthetist), or sometimes an ENT specialist.
Because dental implants require one or more surgical procedures, you should have a thorough evaluation to prepare for the procedure, including:
X-rays and 3D images of your teeth may be taken to make models of your teeth and jaw.
Tell your doctor about any illnesses and any medications you are taking, including prescription and over-the-counter medications and supplements. If you have a specific heart condition or orthopedic implant, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics before surgery to help prevent infection.
This plan takes into account factors such as the number of teeth that need to be replaced and the condition of the jawbone and remaining teeth.
To control pain, there are options for anesthesia during surgery, including local anesthesia, sedation, or general anesthesia, which the dentist notifies the patient and his or her family. Talk to your dentist about which option is best for you.
Depending on your anesthesia, your dental care team will teach you what to eat and drink before surgery. If you are going to use sedation or general anesthesia for your dental surgery, plan to ask someone to take you home after the surgery and expect to rest for the rest of the day.
If your jawbone is not thick enough or too soft, you may need a bone graft before dental implant surgery. This is because the powerful chewing of your mouth puts a lot of pressure on your bones, and if it fails to support the implant, the surgery will probably fail. Bone grafts can provide a stronger foundation for implants.
There are several bone marrow transplants that can be used to repair jawbone. Options may include a natural bone graft, such as another site in your body, or an artificial bone graft, such as bone replacement material, that can provide support structures for new bone growth. Talk to your doctor about the options that work best for you.
It may take several months for the transplanted bone to grow enough new bone to support the dental implant. In some cases, you may need only a minor bone graft, which can be done at the same time as the implant surgery. The condition of the jawbone determines how you proceed.
During surgery to place a dental implant, your oral surgeon makes an incision to open your gums and expose the bone. Holes are drilled in the bone where the metal post of the dental implant is placed. Because the post acts as the root of the tooth, it is implanted deep in the bone.
At this point, you will still have a slit where you lost your tooth. If necessary, a partial and temporary prosthesis can be placed for appearance. You can remove this denture for cleaning and while sleeping.
Osteointegration (oss-ee-oh-in-tuh-GRAY-shun) begins when the implant metal post is placed in your jawbone. During this process, the jawbone grows and unites with the surface of the dental implant. This process, which can take several months, helps build a solid foundation for your new denture; Just as roots do for your natural teeth.
Once the osteointegration is complete, you may need additional surgery to place the abutment, the part where the crown will eventually be placed. This minor surgery is usually performed under local anesthesia in an outpatient setting.
Your oral surgeon reopens your gums to expose the dental implant (the abutment attaches to the dental implant), then closes the gingival tissue around the abutment.
In some cases, the abutment is attached to the metal column of the dental implant during post implantation. This means that you will not need an additional surgical step. However, since the abutment crosses the gum line, it is visible when you open your mouth. This will be the case until your dentist completes the denture. Some people do not like that look and prefer to put the abutment in a separate way.
After the abutment is placed, your gums should heal about two weeks before you attach the denture.
Whether you have dental implant surgery in one or more stages, you may experience some common discomforts associated with any type of dental surgery, such as:
You may need painkillers or antibiotics after dental implant surgery. If your swelling, discomfort, or any other problem gets worse in the days after surgery, call your oral surgeon.
After each stage of surgery, you may need to eat soft foods while the surgery site is healing. Typically, your surgeon uses sutures that resolve on their own. If your stitches do not resolve on their own, your doctor will remove them.