Dental Implant Placement
Spokane Valley, WA
If you have suffered tooth loss, you are probably researching your options. Replacing your missing teeth, whether you have lost one tooth or all of your teeth, is incredibly important. Many patients who have suffered tooth loss choose dental implants. You might be considering this option as well. While you hear a lot about the benefits of dental implants, you do not hear a lot about the placement process itself. Serenity Dental can help you to understand exactly what to expect when it comes to replacing missing teeth with dental implants.
The Initial Consultation
Before you can get dental implants, an initial consultation is necessary. This consultation enables us to determine that dental implants are a good choice for you. In addition to examining your mouth, we also need to take images of your mouth so that we can accurately assess your mouth and your specific needs. We also go over your current health and your medical history to make sure there are no existing issues that can interfere with treatment.
Once determining that you are a candidate, the images we take of your mouth are then used to formulate your treatment plan. There are many different types of implant solutions, and we will be able to design your treatment specifically for your mouth. Based on your scans, we can determine how many implant posts you need, where they should be placed, what angles they should be placed, and at what depths they should be placed to ensure optimal results.
What if I Need Extractions?
Some patients have failing teeth that are still in their mouths. If this is the case, a tooth removal is necessary. Extractions can be handled in a few ways. For some, implants can be placed immediately following extractions. For others, implants are placed after healing from extractions. In some cases, a socket graft can be done to minimize bone loss after your extractions, thus increasing the success of implant treatment.
If a Bone Graft is Needed
If you have gone a long time without teeth, or you have been wearing dentures for a while and want to make the switch to implants, a bone graft may be necessary. In this case, the bone graft is done before implants are placed. The procedure helps to increase the strength of your jawbone. After your bone graft, you will need to heal completely before your implant surgery begins.
Implant surgery is typically done under some form of sedation. Some patients may need to have the procedure done under general anesthesia. The process can take 1 to 2 hours to complete. After incisions are made in the gums, a drill is used to make holes into your jawbone. The implant posts are then screwed into the bone. Finally, sutures are placed, and the healing process begins.
It can take several months to heal from implant surgery. As you heal, fusion, or osseointegration, occurs. During this process, your bone integrates the posts into your jawbone. It typically takes about 6 months to heal from surgery completely.
Placing the Abutments and Getting Your Permanent Crowns
Once you have healed from surgery, a healing collar, or healing cap, is placed. This is a piece that is attached to the implant post and is meant to help guide the healing of the gum tissue, keeping it away from the head of the implant. This piece stays in place for about 2 weeks.
Once the healing collar is removed, the abutments are placed. These are metal pieces that attach to the implant posts and help to provide support for your replacement crowns. Once the abutments are in place, we then take impressions of your mouth so that your final crowns can be made. Temporary crowns are placed during this process. Once your final crowns are ready, they are secured onto the posts.
If you have any questions or concerns about the placement process for dental implants, we are here to help. Call Serenity Dental at (509) 209-8537 today to learn more.