Missing teeth are no longer the embarrassment they once were. Thanks to dental implants, no one will ever know they’re not your natural teeth. But what exactly are they, and how are dental implants done?
In this post, we’ll spill the beans on what you can expect and hopefully, using our powers of gentle persuasion, get you to contact us for a free dental consultation near you to find out more.
So, what are dental implants exactly?
You could almost say that dental implants are bionic teeth! Made from titanium, a lightweight and biocompatible metal that fully integrates with human jawbone tissue, they really are like something from another world!
The titanium implant post fuses naturally with the bone, preventing it from being removed or rejected by the body. A single implant can support one artificial tooth (crown), while multiple implants can support a bridge or dentures.
The answer to how are dental implants done is that it isn’t as scary as you might think. Contrary to popular belief, you certainly won’t be eating pureed food for months after surgery, but you will need patience a-plenty during the dental implant procedure
Because it’s a multi-stage process that includes planning, the dental implant surgery itself, and the attachment of an artificial tooth or teeth. Altogether, it can take at least four months—and for some people, it can be longer if they require augmentation of the jawbone, for example.
A bone graft may be necessary if the bone isn’t viable for dental implant surgery. The wait may be long, but trust us, it’s definitely worth it!
So let’s get down to the nitty-gritty,
How Are Dental Implants Done?
1. Consultation & Planning
The first part of the dental implant procedure involves a consultation appointment to ensure that dental implants are the right option. Some people are not good candidates, and if you smoke or have a chronic medical condition, such as diabetes or a blood clotting disorder, this may be a problem when considering dental implants (although each case is assessed on its own merits). It’s essential to see a dentist that offers free consultation appointments for an assessment.
Tests, such as x-rays or scans, may be carried out to determine the health of your mouth and help create a treatment plan.
2. Dental Implant Surgery
Trust us when we say dental implant surgery isn’t nearly as terrifying as people think. In most cases, it’s over before you know it. Typically surgery takes around an hour for conventional implants and just 10-20 minutes for computer-guided surgery. It’s carried out by a dentist under a local anaesthetic. However, conscious sedation is also an option if you’re a nervous patient.
The dentist will drill a small pilot hole through the gum to access the jawbone. The implant is then inserted and anchored into the jaw. With conventional surgery, the gums are closed with sutures, and the implant site is left to heal and integrate with the bone.
The integration process is one of the most critical parts of the dental implant procedure and is when the magic happens. Over time, the bone tissue fuses with the implant to create a stable platform that becomes an integral part of the mouth – You see, now you’re bionic! Follow your dentist’s instructions to aid the fusion process and eat healthily. This gives your body a helping hand with all the necessary nutrients to repair itself. What’s more, no baby food is needed.
3. Completion of the Dental Implant Procedure
The dental implant procedure is completed around four months after dental implant surgery when the artificial tooth/crown is attached to the implant, in a simple process performed at your dentist’s office. And that’s it—dental implants done and dusted!
How Are Dental Implants Done – The Takeaway
Dental implants take a while to complete, but once you’re back to munching and chewing your favourite crunchy snacks, you’ll be so happy you got them!
Contact us on (02) 9181 3668 for a free consultation at your local dental clinic to learn about dental implants.
Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.
Nature: How do different levels of smoking affect dental implants?
International Journal of Implant Dentistry: Dental implants and diabetes mellitus