Dental implants are an incredible treatment used to replace missing teeth. They provide you with a unique, modern alternative to traditional bridges and dentures. At OHIOSmiles, we offer dental implants to meet many different needs, from the loss of a single tooth to the loss of an entire arch. Here is what you can expect from the process.
The Initial Consultation
Before you can receive dental implants, you first need a consultation to determine whether or not the treatment is right for you. During this consultation, we go over your medical history, including any medications that you are currently taking. We examine your mouth, checking for cavities and gum disease, issues that will need to be treated before implant surgery. We also take X-rays of your mouth. These images will show us the condition of your jawbone, allowing us to determine if you need a bone graft before implants can be placed. If you are determined to be a candidate, X-rays will allow us to determine optimal implant placement.
Your Implant Surgery
Implant surgery is performed under a local anesthetic, which helps to ensure that you do not feel any discomfort during the procedure. We also provide sedation, which will help you to remain calm and relaxed. Your sedation options will be discussed during your initial consultation.
We begin by making small incisions in your gum tissue, which provides us with access to your jawbone. Next, small holes are drilled into the bone, and the implant posts are placed directly inside. Your gums are sutured closed around the posts, leaving a small amount exposed above the tissue. Finally, temporary teeth are placed. You are provided with aftercare instructions, and you go home to heal.
Recovering After Surgery
Recovery after implant surgery varies from patient to patient. The process typically takes several weeks to several months. During this time, your bone gradually fuses to the posts in a natural process called osseointegration. This process turns the titanium posts into replacement roots, which are then able to provide secure support for your replacement teeth.
As you heal, several follow up visits allow us to monitor your progress. We are also able to make sure that there are no complications. Following your post-surgical care instructions will help you to deal with common issues such as pain and swelling. They will also advise you on what to eat, what to avoid, and how to care for your surgical wounds as you heal to avoid the risk of infections and other issues.
The Placement Of Your Final Teeth
After you have fully healed from implant surgery, we then begin the process of creating and placing your final dental restorations. This process typically takes two appointments. At the first appointment, your temporary teeth are removed, and the abutments are placed. We then take impressions of your mouth. These impressions are sent off to our dental lab, where they are used to design and fabricate your final restorations. Your second appointment occurs once your teeth have been completed. We check to ensure that they fit properly and that your bite is natural. If no adjustments are needed, the teeth are secured into place with small screws.