Before we begin the dental implant process, we will conduct a full dental and medical health history review to help determine the underlying reason why dental implants are even necessary. This process will include an examination of your bite and for any indications of loose teeth, TMJ, bone loss, signs of periodontal disease or oral cancer.
Once the underlying cause has been identified and we decide that dental implants are an appropriate treatment option for you, we will then take diagnostic exams (CT scan and X-Rays) to determine the precise placement of the implant. Once this is identified and the optimal location is marked, the procedure will begin with the administration of a local anesthetic and/or sedation to numb the gums. A small surgical opening will give our dentist access to your jawbone. A hole is drilled in the jawbone to insert a titanium post. Now an important step, we wait. It may take several months for the post to fully integrate, or fuse with the jawbone (osseointegration). When that post has fused it acts like the root of a tooth delivering durability and strength. During this waiting period, a temporary crown is placed to reduce your risk of developing an infection and allow you to have a normal, healthy smile.
In some situations, two additional steps may be added. If you need a tooth extracted or if it is determined that your jawbone density needs a bone graft to accept the implant.
As soon as the jawbone has fully fused with the post an extension or abutment will be added, which will be necessary for the placement of the final ceramic or porcelain crown. We will evaluate the overall fit and appearance of the dental crown to ensure it matches aesthetically and provides you with optimal functional support. If the dental implant meets these criteria, the process will be complete, and you can begin to enjoy your new, healthy smile.