Prior to beginning the dental implant process, we will conduct an in-depth dental and medical health history review to determine the underlying reason why dental implants are even necessary. This process will include an examination of your bite for any indications of loose teeth, bone loss, TMJ, oral cancer, or signs of periodontal disease.
Once the underlying cause has been identified and it is decided that dental implants are the appropriate treatment option for you, it will then be necessary to take diagnostic exams (CT scan and X-Rays) to determine the precise placement of the implant and determine the number of implants necessary. Once this is identified and the optimal locations are 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 small hole is drilled in the jawbone to insert a titanium post. Now we wait. It may take several months for the post to fully integrate, or fuse with the jawbone (osseointegration). Once that pose has fused it acts like the root of a tooth delivering strength and durability. During this period, a temporary crown is placed to reduce your risk of developing an infection and allow you to preserve a full, healthy smile.
In a few situations two additional steps may be added. If you need a tooth extraction or if it is determined that your jawbone needs a bone graft to accept the implant.
As soon as the jawbone has fully fused with the post an extension or abutment is added, which will be necessary for the final ceramic or porcelain crown. Once in place, 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 it is determined that the implant meets these criteria, the dental implant process will be complete, and you can begin to enjoy your new, healthy smile.