Getting a dental implant can make a huge difference in how your smile looks to others, as well as how it functions for you when you chew and bite. Dental implants are typically a multi-part process that will require multiple appointments visiting your oral surgeon. If you want to know what lies ahead for your dental implant installation, keep reading.
The first step most people will have to go through is extraction of a tooth or its remains. If your tooth is still in, it will obviously need to be taken out in order to put an implant in its place. However, even if your tooth is completely missing, there may still be an extraction process.
When a tooth falls out, it often leaves behind something, like its roots. Your new dental implant will act as a replacement root, so a root canal may be necessary. Ask your dentist if you want to know if you will need this step.
Putting in the Implant
Once the area is clear, it's time to get the support for your dental implant. This is actually the implant itself, whereas the replacement tooth is called a crown.
Your new dental implant contains a titanium peg that goes into the gums and jaw. This means your dentist will perform surgery to open up the gums and to insert the peg. Depending on your dental condition, slight drilling may be necessary to make space for the implant.
Once the implant is in place, your dentist will stitch your gums closed around it. You'll then need to allow it to heal. Your jaw will begin to build new bone cells around the implant, supporting it, and your gums will seal up and heal from the incision around it as well.
The length of how long you'll have to wait for your gums and jaw to heal depends on your personal dental health as well as your age. Your dentist can provide more information on what they expect your healing time to be.
Once your implant is fully supported, you'll make one more visit to the dentist's office to have your crown placed on top. Once that's done, you're finished! You will be able to go home and immediately use your crown by chewing, talking, biting, and you'll be able to keep your gums and new dental implant healthy with the same dental hygiene techniques you already use, like flossing and brushing.
If you're interested in a dental implant, reach out to a dentist to find out more.