A dental implant, technically called osseointegration, is surgically inserted into the jawbone to essentially become a substitute for the root of a tooth. The titanium implant will fuse with the jawbone making this sometimes more beneficial than having denture or bridgework done. There is less chance of bone damage as the implant is now part of the jawbone. Bridges and dentures might shift or slip. In addition, the implant has no chance of decay – as a real tooth supporting dentures or bridges would do.
Reasons You Might Seek Dental Implant Surgery
First of all, in some cases the process could take months, so commitment is necessary. The procedure is intended to replace a missing tooth or teeth as long as your jawbone is fully grown. Adequate bone is required and a bone graft is sometimes used to add more bone space if needed. Dental implants are a good substitute if someone is unwilling, or unable to use dentures. Improving speech is also a reason one might seek the surgery.
The procedure can normally be performed in a dentist’s office under local anesthesia. If you are interested in finding out if you are a candidate, set up an appointment for a full oral exam. It must be determined that your gum tissue is free of disease and that your jawbone is in adequate condition to support osseointegration. Your implant surgeon will use x-ray or CT scan images along with physical examination to determine your eligibility.
The Dental Implant Procedure
The most widely used procedure is done in outpatient fashion using local anesthesia or intravenous sedation. It is done in stages and the total time involved could be three to nine months or longer. The majority of that time however, is to allow for healing and fusion between implant and bone.
The general timeline will look somewhat like this:
• Missing tooth or teeth are removed.
• The jawbone is prepared. Bone graft from another part of jaw or hip will be used if necessary.
• Healing process. Then the titanium post of the dental implant is inserted into the jawbone.
• Long healing process to allow fusion. This could take months.
• An extension of the post, called an abutment, is then put in place. The final step is the placement of the artificial tooth, which is called the crown.
What You Should Expect After Surgery
This will be explained to you thoroughly by your surgeon. Some of the things you may experience include: swelling in the gums or face, minor bleeding and pain in the implant area. Your surgeon will prescribe pain medications and antibiotics if needed. Oral hygiene is very important after dental implant surgery. You will also receive instruction concerning proper aftercare. The last thing you should expect is enjoyment and fresh confidence from your new healthy smile.
In Santa Clara Area
Our office specializes in most oral procedures. General, pediatric and cosmetic dentistry is available. We offer outstanding osseointegration and reconstruction surgery as well. Dr. Payne has the experience and quality you can trust for all of your dental needs. Make an appointment today and visit us in the Santa Clara area.