When you consider dental implants it is extremely important that you have a good understanding of what is involved in the process. This understanding makes the patient a partner with the dentist when it comes to realizing their responsibly in maintaining the implant. It also helps stop anxiety about the length of time the process will require.
The Dental Implant process begins with a consultation with your dentist. The dentist will look at several things including: the quality and quantity of jawbone, the health of gums, your general health, and your general attitude towards the procedure and maintaining good oral health. If there are problems with uncontrolled diseases such as diabetes or insufficient bone to support an implant these conditions will have to be dealt with first. Illness should be brought under control and procedures to add or create new bone may need to be performed.
Next, very careful planning will be done to identify structures like vital nerves. This allows for the correct orientation of the implants. The actual procedure entails opening the gum tissue in order to expose the bone. A hole is bored into the jawbone; this may be done in several steps each of which will widen the hole. When the hole is the correct size and orientation the implant screw or root is screwed into place. This is a precise procedure which takes into account the health of the surrounding bone so it is not overloaded from pressure which can cause implant failure. After the implant is placed the gum tissue is sutured. These sutures are usually removed with two weeks. The process of allowing the implant to heal and fuse with the surrounding bone takes three to six months.
There are differing opinions as to how long the healing time should be before the crown is placed. Impressions will be taken for a crown that will match your existing teeth. Once the gum tissue is ready a post is attached to the implant to support the new porcelain crown. The crown is then placed over the post and cemented. It will have both the look and feel of your natural teeth.
If a tooth has to be extracted first, there are several possible procedures for implant placement.
· Immediate post extraction procedure preserves more of the jawbone since the implant is placed in a recent extraction site. This cuts months off the procedure time.
· Delayed immediate post extraction procedure waits two week to three months after a tooth has been extracted.
· Late implantation occurs when a tooth has been extracted three months or more before the dental implant.
Placing or loading a crowd follows the same type of timeframe.
· Immediate loading of the crown
· Early loading of the crown which occurs one week to three months after the implant screw is placed.
· And delayed loading which takes places more than three months after the implant screw has been placed.
Which timeframe is right for you depends on a number of factors, including general health and jawbone and gum health. This is a matter to be discussed in detail with your dentist. Each individual can expect a very personalized timeframe.