Unlike other tooth replacement solutions, the dental implant process takes place in several stages. The whole process will take several months to complete, possibly even up to year depending on the state of your oral health. Dr. Joyce Kim reviews her dental implant process in Williamsport, PA below.
The Dental Implant Process
Stage 1: Consultation and Planning
The first stage of the dental implant process is the consultation and planning stage. Here, Dr. Kim will examine your teeth and gums and discuss your medical history. She will also take x-rays of your mouth and possibly a CT scan of your mouth to evaluate the jawbone. This may be necessary to determine if you have enough bone density to support the implant.
Dr. Kim will explain the entire process and what to expect. She will inform you of the potential risks and benefits and answer any questions you may have.
If you are a good candidate for dental implants, she will create a custom treatment plan for you. Our staff will schedule your implant surgery with one of the best local oral surgeons in the area.
Stage 2: Implant Placement
The second stage of the dental implant process is the implant placement. This will involve the surgical placement of the implant posts into your jawbone. Implant fixtures are made of titanium and will mimic the root of a natural tooth.
The dentist will make a small incision in your gums and drill a small hole in the bone. Then they will place the dental implant in the hole. They will stitch your gums closed to allow the implants to heal. This can take up to an hour per implant. The surgery is performed under local anesthesia and most people experience little discomfort.
In some cases, you will have a temporary restoration placed. This way you will not have to go without teeth until the next step in the process.
Stage 3: Osseointegration
The third stage of the dental implant process is osseointegration. This stage typically takes about three to six months to complete but can vary depending on the state of your oral health.
Osseointegration is the process where the implant and the jawbone fuse together to become one. This creates a stable base for the false teeth. Here, the bone cells grow around the dental implants, anchoring them firmly in place.
To ensure that your implants succeed, it is very important to maintain proper oral health. This will prevent infection and gum disease during this healing phase.
Stage 4: Abutment Placement
The fourth stage of the dental implant process is when the dentist places the abutment. Once the implant fuses with the jawbone, the dentist will go open the gums back up. They will then attach a small metal post called an abutment to the implant. This simply acts as a connector between the dental implant and the restoration.
The dentist will take an impressions and measurements to create a custom denture, dental crown or dental bridge that will be placed on top of the abutment(s).
Stage 5: Denture, Crown, or Bridge Placement
The final stage of the dental implant process is the placement of the dental restoration. About two weeks after placing the abutment, Dr. Kim will attach your new custom dental restoration. She will design it to match the color and shape of your natural teeth.
Once in place, Dr. Kim will make any adjustments to ensure a comfortable, natural looking smile. We will provide you with any special instructions you may need for your new teeth. The better you care for your implants and restoration with good oral hygiene, the longer you can expect them to last.
To learn more about the several stages of the dental implant process in Williamsport, PA, contact Loyalsock Dental Associates or request an appointment online.