The prospect of getting dental implants can be a scary thought for some people, even if it’s the best option for them, or even if it’s what they want to do. Replacing one or more teeth with implants sound involved, possibly painful, and certainly invasive. To ease your mind, let’s talk about what happens during dental implant procedure so you know what to expect and can make informed choices about your oral health.
The implant process usually involves two surgeries with a waiting period of several months in between. Here’s what to expect at each stage of the process.
Stage One: First Surgery
Since your new implants will be permanent replacement teeth, the first step in the process is to create an anchor mechanism in the jaw that will support these new teeth. During this first surgery, the oral surgeon will make an incision in your gum for each tooth being replaced and will insert titanium posts into your jawbones. These posts will become the roots to hold your new teeth. If this process sounds painful, never fear; the dentist will make sure you have the proper anesthetic. The doctor may use conscious sedation (oral of IV), or general anesthesia as the most comfortable option.
Stage Two: Taking Root
The next step is to allow several months for the titanium post to bond permanently (called osseointegration) with your jaw bone, then the permanent replacement teeth will be manufactured. The dentist will provide you with temporary dentures or replacements during this time, so after a brief recovery period from the first surgery, you should be able to chew soft foods.
Stage Three: Getting Your Permanent Teeth
Once the titanium posts have properly taken root, it’s time for you to receive your permanent teeth. During this procedure, the doctor will remove your temporary teeth or dentures (if affixed), attach a small post (Abutment) to each implant, and affix your new teeth to these posts. As with the first procedure, you’ll be given proper anesthesia to mitigate pain and discomfort. Once these new teeth are in place, they will look and feel like your real teeth, and with proper care they can last a lifetime.
We’re happy to answer any further questions you may have regarding what to expect during a dental implant procedure so you can determine if implants are the right choice for you. To learn more, call Riverside Oral Facial Surgery at (706) 235-5570.