Whether it’s due to decay, infections, or accidents, it’s not uncommon for people to lose a tooth or two. However, just because you’ve lost a tooth doesn’t mean you have to live the rest of your life without it! Dental implants are one of the most effective ways to restore your mouth to full function and make your stunning smile whole again. Dental implant procedures are, essentially, the process of inputting a fake tooth in the place of a missing one. Like with any dental procedure, you’re bound to have several questions about what you should expect when you sit in your dentist’s chair for the procedure. Our friendly dentists at Gentle Dental Maine are capable of answering any specific questions you have about your upcoming procedure at your dental implant procedure consultation. In this article, we’ll go over everything you need to know about the steps of a dental implant procedure!
The first step of the procedure is surgically securing the implant into the jaw. Three pieces come together to make the entire implant: the implant body, the abutment, and the crown or “tooth”. This first step, implant placement, includes drilling the site of the missing tooth in order to create a fitting space for the implant, then fixing the implant body securely into the jaw to ensure that your new tooth doesn’t shift or wiggle once it’s inserted. This part requires a very skilled hand and the help of advanced technology like 3D imaging. Your gums are full of nerves that need to remain undamaged during the process in order to minimize discomfort and pain.
Next, the abutment will be secured into the implant body. The abutment is the piece that sticks up from out of the gums and is where your new crown will be placed. However, your new “tooth” won’t be placed just yet. Instead, a healing cap is placed over the implant body, and it’s given time to heal properly.
Healing and Osseointegration
As with any surgery, it’s crucial that your jaw be allowed to heal properly after you’ve had your implant inserted. “Osseointegration” refers to your jaw bone healing and reforming around the new implant in order to lock it into place. Just like the root of a natural tooth, your jawbone is what holds it in place—an implant is no different! Ensuring that the area around the implant heals properly is vital to having a strong, sturdy new tooth that’ll last for many years to come.
With that being said, you can expect the healing process to take a few months. In the meantime, your oral surgeon will fit the space with a healing cap and a temporary aesthetic crown, so the space doesn’t remain empty. In a few months, you’ll be back for the last step: your permanent new crown!
At last, your implant site is all healed! The third and final step is to be fitted with your new, custom-made crown that was uniquely designed to fit your mouth. Your healing cap and temporary crown will be removed, and your new crown will be secured precisely into place so that it looks natural, fits right, and is able to effectively perform as your new tooth. Once this step is complete, you’ll be leaving the dentist’s office with your new dental implant!
Schedule Your Dental Implant Consultation With Gentle Dental Maine!
If you have any additional questions about dental implants or are considering a restorative dental procedure, contact Gentle Dental Maine! Our family dentists specialize in general, cosmetic, restorative, and emergency dentistry services at each of our offices in South Portland, Biddeford, and Topsham. Give us a call at any one of our offices, or if you’re not yet a patient with us, please fill out the new patient form on our website!