If you have missing or badly broken teeth, dental implants are an excellent treatment option. Implants involve inserting titanium posts into the jawbone and then attaching artificial teeth (dental crowns) to the implants. Dental implants are extremely popular among patients who need teeth replaced because they look, feel and act more like natural teeth than traditional treatment options such as dental crowns, bridges and dentures.
Even though dental implants are a great solution to damaged and missing teeth, the process of getting them can be intimidating since it involves multiple appointments, surgery, and wait times between appointments. However, if you know what will be involved, you can prepare yourself in advance for the implant installation process. So to help you get ready, here is what you can expect to happen when you get dental implants:
After an initial consultation to determine if implants are right for you, an appointment will be booked to insert the titanium posts into your jawbone. To do this, a dentist will make incisions wherever the implants will be located. The dental implants are placed into holes that have been drilled into the bone, and then the gums are stitched closed. After this surgery, there is a 3-6 month healing period where the implants integrate with the jawbone.
Once the implants are fully integrated and secure in the bone, a second appointment is scheduled to attach abutments to the dental implants. An abutment is essentially a post that is screwed into the implants, and is what will connect the replacement dental crowns to the dental implants. During this appointment, your dentist will also take master impressions of the implants in order to make your permanent dental crowns. You need to wait 2-3 weeks for the dental crowns to be fabricated, but you will receive temporary dental crowns to wear in the meantime.
When your custom dental crowns have been created, you will have a third appointment for the final attachment of the crowns onto the dental implants. At this appointment, the process of installing dental implants is completed, and you are left with a beautiful, natural looking smile that will last a lifetime.
While the installation process for dental implants generally involves three appointments, your dentist may schedule several follow up appointments to monitor the healing process and ensure that you are adjusting well to your implants and permanent dental crowns. These appointments may also involve cleaning and polishing to ensure oral hygiene is maintained over the long term.