Are you considering dental implants? If so, you might wonder what all is involved with the process. After all, just the word "implant" can be a bit worrisome. Yes, it is capable of completely reinventing your mouth and giving you that perfect smile you have been wanting for some time, but you also want to know what is going to happen with the implant, from the initial diagnosis to what exactly is going to happen throughout the entire procedure.
Before the Procedure
First off, the dentist is going to look at your teeth and gums in order to make sure you are a candidate for dental implants. To do this, they are not only going to perform a physical inspection of your mouth, but they also are going to perform an X-ray of your mouth as well. By doing this, the dentist is able to look at the structure of the teeth and also find out how strong the roots are for teeth in question. Once the dentist confirms a dental implant is an option for you, you need to schedule your next appointment, which is prep work for the installation of the dental implants.
If you have current teeth that need to be removed, the dentist is going to apply local anesthetic to the area of the gums in order to numb off the pain, then remove the tooth. You might only have one tooth removed or the dentist might remove several teeth. With the teeth removed, the dentist is going to insert the implant post into your gums. This post is what the implant holds onto and what anchors it into position. Depending on the location in your mouth, the strength of your gums and what your dentist believes is best, the post may go through your jaw bone for extra support, although this is not always necessary.
After the post is inserted, the dentist is going to make molds of your gums. By doing this, the dentist can determine the construction and shape of the implant. Now, if you are having the entire row of teeth replaced, which is done often with an all-on-4 procedure (where all of the teeth are implanted onto the gum line through four posts, which is essentially permanent dentures you don't take out), the dentist needs to take a full mold of the gum line, so they know how much space they are working with and how to properly fit in the teeth.
It is important for your gums to recover and heal up before the dental implant is inserted, especially when you are using the all-on-4 option. The dentist is going to place a temporary implant into place while the gums heal and while the implant is produced. The dentist is going to have you schedule another visit, anywhere from a few weeks to a month or two down the road.
On visiting again, the dentist is going to remove the temporary implant and place the permanent implant onto the post. During this time, the dentist is going to match up the color of the implant with the rest of your teeth (this is a good time for teeth whitening, if you want the implant to match a brighter smile) and secure the dental implant into position.