Your teeth are one of the only body parts that can’t repair themselves on their own. This means that when you are missing a tooth or several teeth as an adult, they will be missing permanently. This can be problematic and affect people’s daily life, eating habits and their self confidence.
Thankfully, with modern technology, dentists have been able to create many different types of tooth replacement options. Dental implants are seen as the top tier of these prosthetics and are highly regarded and recommended as the closest replacement for your natural tooth.
Dental implant surgery however is a fairly extensive procedure. In some cases it can be quite complex and it requires a qualified dentist who is certified and experienced in dental implant surgery and placement.
Let’s explore what to expect in dental implant surgery and go over how to prepare for the procedure, and learn about the things you can do to promote a full recovery.
Dental implant surgery, specifically, is the procedure required to install permanent dental implants securely in a patient’s jaw. The surgery requires a thorough cleaning and sterilization of the mouth beforehand and most often local anesthetic is used so the patient feels comfortable.
The procedure can be performed locally, in house by your dentist if they are properly certified, or by a specialist.
Before dental implant surgery can be considered, you will meet with our gentle and caring dentists to learn more about your specific needs. Our team will take the time to understand what you are looking for in your new smile.
We will take the time to explain the detailed process of dental implant surgery, review the different types of dental implants, and show you how you can achieve the results you’re looking for.
Using our in-house scanning equipment, our dentist will generate a detailed 3D model of your teeth and jaw which will then be used to create a precise implant surgical plan.
The goal of dental implant surgery is to safely and securely place a titanium or zirconium dental implant into the patient's jaw bone. The process may require several procedures if additional implants are required, but often multiple implants can be placed in a single session.
Your dentist or surgeon will be required to place the implant safely into your jaw bone. This requires incisions to be made around the gums in order to expose the jaw.
Because it is an invasive surgery, you will require local and in some cases general anesthetic. Most patients feel comfortable with local anesthetic but you can talk with your dentist before the procedure to determine which option is best for you.
A small drill-like tool is then used to create space for the implant in the jaw bone. The implant will be inserted and then the gums are stitched up tightly to cover the exposed bone. This is done to assist in healing and at this point the initial part of the procedure is finished.
A patient is able to leave immediately after the procedure and will require a period of 2-4 month recovery. People often ask us about the post-surgery experience, so we've put together an entire blog on what to expect after dental implant surgery.
Once your dental implant and your gums are fully healed, the last step to getting dental implants is placing a prosthetic tooth on top of the implant.
This will complete the procedure and will be the final step to fill the gap in your mouth. Now you can eat, speak, smile and chew like you normally would!
If you have gone without teeth for a long time, you may require additional procedures before your dental implant surgery. These procedures will ensure there is enough room in your mouth and enough bone mass to support the implant.
Bone grafting is sometimes required before dental implant surgery. This is needed if a patient has been missing teeth for a long period of time and does not have a sufficient amount of jaw bone left to support a dental implant.
Over time, if your jaw bone does not have the weight of a tooth and tooth root supporting it, it will slowly degrade and become weak. In some cases a patient may use their own bone, most often grafted from the hip area, however other bone tissues are available in the dental industry and can be used instead.
Before you can get dental implant surgery, you will have to wait for this new bone tissue to fuse with your existing jaw bone. This takes an average of 2 months.
Likewise, when teeth have been missing for over 6 months, the other teeth in your mouth can shift and move out of place.
This can form unwanted crookedness or gaps in your smile. If you are looking to get dental implants to replace your missing tooth, you may first need orthodontic work such as braces in order to shift the neighboring teeth back into alignment. Braces are often worn for 6 months to one year or longer if considerable movement is required.
At Glen Dental Centre, our team in Coquitlam, BC would be happy to help guide you through every step before and during dental implant surgery.
This is a bid and life changing procedure and we want to make sure that all of your questions are answered beforehand, so you can make an informed decision. If you are ready to make the change and get dental implants, contact us to get started!