Dental Implant Process
At Gibson & Bartholomew Restorative and Esthetic Dentistry, we offer dental implants for your tooth replacement needs. Dental implants are a modern treatment, providing an alternative to bridges and dentures, which have been in use since the 1960’s. While a more recent development, they have quickly become the most popular treatment, offering numerous benefits. Along with restoring the functions of your missing teeth, implants are comfortable, natural in feel and appearance, and even help to protect the integrity of your jawbone. This unique treatment utilizes small titanium posts, which are placed into your jaw, to support your replacement teeth. The process for getting dental implants may be more involved than traditional treatments, but the benefits make it well worth it.
Before undergoing dental implant surgery, we first need to determine that you are a good candidate. This is done with a thorough oral exam and consultation. We will go over your medical history and talk about lifestyle habits. We will visually examine your mouth and take digital X-rays. The X-rays will help us to assess the condition of your jawbone and determine if there is a need for a bone graft or sinus lift. These images will also enable us to create your treatment plan.
Dental Implant Surgery
Dental implants require a surgical procedure. Surgery begins with a local anesthetic and sedation. Your sedation options will be discussed at your initial consultation. Sedation will help you to relax and remain comfortable during surgery. After the local anesthetic and sedation take effect, we make incisions in your gums, exposing the bone underneath. Next, holes are drilled into the jaw, and the implants are placed. The gums are sutured closed around the posts, leaving a small amount exposed to the tissue. Temporary teeth are set into place, and you can go home and begin the recovery process.
Recovering After Implant Surgery
The exact length of time it takes for you to recover from implant surgery depends on many factors. Typically, it can take anywhere from several weeks to several months, depending on how many implants are placed. During this time, you will have several follow-ups, which will enable us to monitor your progress and make sure the implants are integrating properly.
Postsurgical care instructions will be provided to you after surgery. These instructions will help you deal with common issues such as pain, swelling, and bleeding. They will also have instructions for limiting and resuming activities as well as what types of foods to eat and what to avoid. Following these instructions will help to ensure that you heal properly. If complications do arise, it is important that you call us right away.
Placing Your Permanent Crowns
After you have fully healed from implant surgery, we begin the process of placing your final dental crowns. This typically takes two appointments. At the first appointment, the temporary teeth are removed. The abutments are placed on the posts and impressions of your mouth are taken. These impressions are then sent to a dental lab, where they are used to custom design and create your new teeth.
It can often take as long as two weeks for the final teeth to be ready. When they are finished, you return for your second appointment. The teeth are checked for fit, bite, and comfort. If there are no adjustments needed, the teeth are screwed into place.
Getting dental implants may be more involved than getting a bridge or dentures, but this revolutionary treatment offers several amazing benefits. For more information, and to find out if dental implants are right for you, call Gibson & Bartholomew Restorative and Esthetic Dentistry today at (336) 283-2593.