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Quick Guide to Dental Implant Surgery and Restoration
If you have lost one or more teeth, you can undergo dental implant surgery to get the teeth restored. Dental implants sit inside the jawbone to provide a sturdy foundation for a permanent tooth replacement. The procedure is a major decision, and many people do not know what is involved. This article provides a quick guide on the dental implant surgery and restoration procedure.
Dental implant process
The following is a step-by-step guide of what is involved in a dental implant restoration procedure:
Evaluation and planning
Every dental implant procedure begins with a comprehensive medical evaluation. The implant specialist will take X-rays and CT scans to ascertain the current state of the oral cavity and develop a plan for treatment. At this stage, patients will be able to ask questions, voice their concerns and preferences and work with the dentist to create the most suitable treatment plan.
Although dental implants have a high success rate, the patient must be in optimal condition. To reduce the risks of infection and implant failure, implants must be inserted in a healthy mouth. If the patient has a dental condition such as gum disease or cavities, the dentist will provide necessary treatment before commencing the implant restoration procedure.
Extraction and bone grafting
If the damaged tooth is still in its socket, the dentist will have to remove it. This is often done under local anesthesia. In cases where the patient does not have enough bone density to hold the dental implants, the dentist may recommend bone graft surgery. The procedure augments the volume of the bone to give the implant a good base for integration. Bone grafting is relatively simple, but patients might need a few months to recover before the jawbone can take the implant post.
Dental implant surgery is a simple procedure that requires high precision. The implant specialist will administer local anesthesia before commencing the surgery. An incision will be made on the gum and a small hole drilled into the jaw. When the hole is big enough, the dentist will screw the implant in and secure it, then suture the gum. Depending on the dentist’s techniques or patient’s condition, a cover screw or healing cap may be placed immediately to protect the implant until the placement of the abutment.
The abutment connects the dental crown to the implant. The healing cap has the same shape as the abutment and helps guide gum healing. Sometimes, an immediate-load abutment and crown may be placed immediately. Otherwise, a temporary dental crown or a flipper may be used as a temporary cosmetic measure, particularly for a front tooth.
Abutment and crown placement
If the patient does not get an abutment and temporary crown during the dental implant surgery, they will be provided after the jaw heals. The timeframe depends on the patient’s situation. The dentist will need to reopen the jaw to place the abutment. They will take impressions of the teeth for the new dental restoration. Creating permanent tooth restorations takes about two weeks. The restoration (crown, bridge or denture) will be placed in a single dental appointment.
To learn more about dental implant surgery and restoration, book an appointment with an implant specialist for a consultation.
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