There are two basic parts to the dental implant procedure. The first step is placing the root form. This is done surgically. Many dentists need to refer this surgery out to a specialist, because it is highly specialized. At Glen Dental Center, we do a lot of dental implants, so we have the specialist present right in our office. The idea is to make it as convenient as possible for you. All of your dental implant care can be done in one place. The surgery needs to be done very precisely, and to prepare for it we often require three-dimensional CT scans. Being careful helps insure that you won’t have problems afterward. Without this extra care, you can end up with dental implants in a sinus, or impinging on one of the delicate nerves that go to your teeth, tongue, or lips. For your part, the surgery isn’t especially difficult. It is done on an outpatient basis. Local anesthesia may be all that is required. But if you would like to be sedated during the procedure, that can be arranged also. An opening will be made in your gums and the dental implant root form will be placed in your jawbone. The gums will then be closed over the root form, and there will be a healing period of two to six months. During this time osseointegration takes place—the anchoring of the root form in your bone.
If you don’t have enough good quality bone to support dental implants, additional surgery may be required to place bone grafts or otherwise enhance your jaw. An examination will be required to give a definitive answer to this question.
The second step is replacing the missing tooth or teeth with a prosthesis. In the case of teeth-in-an-hour, this can be done in the same appointment. However, for most cases this is done after a period of healing. While this healing is taking place, you will wear a temporary prosthesis replacing the tooth or teeth. When the permanent tooth replacement is placed, you will be fully restored. Soon you will forget that you have artificial teeth, because they will feel and function just like your own.