A person may decide on dental implants for many reasons. For some, implants offer a superior choice to dentures. Besides replacing the missing teeth, dental implants can also prevent jawbone loss as the implants help stimulate the bone.
The treatment for getting a dental implant involves a lengthy process. There are several steps included in an implant procedure:
1. Preliminary Assessment
At Shepherd Dental PC, we will first conduct a detailed exam to assess the condition of your jawbone and overall general health. This assessment includes X-rays, taking impressions, and selecting the shade of your restoration. We will also discuss your overall general health and the medicines you are regularly taking.
2. Tooth Extraction
If the tooth that needs replacing is decayed or damaged, we will remove it. The extraction can be performed simultaneously at the time of inserting the dental implant.
3. Bone Grafting
Bone grafting may be needed when there isn't sufficient bone density to support the implant. We will perform a minor surgery where the extra bone mass is taken from the jawbone itself or another area of the body and grafted at the missing tooth site. The bone is allowed to heal for a specific duration before inserting the implant.
4. Inserting the Dental Implant
A dental implant, a titanium screw, is surgically inserted into the jawbone. This step consists of cutting the gum, then drilling into the jawbone itself to place the screw. After the implant is plugged into your jawbone, the tissues surrounding the jawbone will begin to grow around the implant. This process may take a few months, varying for every patient.
5. Abutment Placement
Once your implant has perfectly grafted with the jawbone, we will attach an abutment on top of the dental implant. This piece secures the implant to your crown. Sometimes the abutment can be placed simultaneously as the implant since it goes past the gum line.
6. Permanent Restoration
After your gums heal, the implant can be covered with a dental restoration such as a crown. The crowns will be made to match the shades of the existing natural teeth.
When the entire process of dental implant surgery is accomplished, recovery begins and it will take time. Most dental implant procedures are successful, but they can be tried again if one happens to fail.
If you are considering dental implants, we encourage you to visit Shepherd Dental PC at 235 E Hildebrand Ave #100, San Antonio, TX 78212, or call us at (210) 820-0400 and schedule an appointment.