Understanding the Dental Implant Procedure: What to Expect

Dentist holds up educational implant model

If you’re struggling with tooth loss due to decay, injury, or periodontal disease, you might be considering dental implants and what options are available for tooth replacement. Dental Implants can restore full oral functionality, the loss of which can be a major inconvenience at mealtime and can negatively impact your overall health. Dental Implants can also prevent additional jawbone deterioration. And, of course, the prosthetic teeth attached to the dental implants themselves can restore your confidence-inducing smile! Let’s talk logistics so you can learn what exactly is involved in the process of having implants placed!

What Are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are meant to replace the root of where a tooth once was to help support a single restoration, to support a dental implant bridge or to help stablize dental implant denture restorations. Most dental implants are made out of titanum and are placed in the jaw bone. After you have healed, you will not even know they are there and are the most natural feeling and functioning restorative options we have available in dentistry.

Are there different kinds of Dental Implants?

Usually when you think of dental implants, they fall into 3 categories:

  • Single tooth implant
    • This replaces a single tooth. An implant is placed in the jaw bone where a tooth root once was and an implant crown is placed on top of your new implant tooth “root” to give you a new restoration to smile and chew with
  • Locator or “snap in” dentures supported with implants
    • These kind of “snap in” dentures are supported by implants so that your dentures have support when chewing and talking while allowing you the flexiblity to remove your dentres as needed
  • Fixed or “all on x” implant retained dentures
    • Sometimes also known as an “all on 4”, this type of restoration is fixed into implants so only your dentist can remove your teeth and the restoration stays in place in your mouth 24/7

What are the benefits to Dental Implants?

There are many benefits to Dental Implants, including:

  • Restoring your chewing ability
  • Filling in a gap in your smile
  • Supporting adjacent teeth
  • Perserving jaw bone
  • Supporting dentures
  • Preventing cheeks and lips from sinking into spaces with missing teeth
  • Allowing other teeth to remained untouched in single tooth cases
  • Ease of hygiene and maintenance

Getting Implants: What to Expect

All of our dentists at Pathway Dental Group want to ensure that you are as comfortable as possible before your implant surgery and know what to expect before your treatment.  We are one of the few offices in the area that places dental implants and restores all implant restorations in house so you do not have to be bounced around to multiple office locations or see providers you are not familiar with!

Our doctors collorate to ensure that your surgery is planned in house with the final restoration design in mind.  First, one of our dentists wille evaluate your situation to determine if you are a candidate for implants.  If so, they will develop a customized treatment plan just for you.

We will complete a digital CBCT scan in our office and a digital intraoral scan of your mouth to plan your implant surgery in advance.  If a tooth extraction is necessary, that will be the first step.  There are times we can even remove a tooth and place a dental implant the same day! 

We offer sedation options in our practices, including IV sedation, with our own providers if you would like to consider this option to aid in your comfort throughout the procedure.  Once the implant has been placed, we advise that you eat a nutritious diet of soft foods and chew on the other side of your mouth for several days following your surgery.  We will review all of your post op instructions with you before your appointment, the day of your surgery and the day after your appointment as well to be sure all of your questions have been answered.  You should be able to return to work the next day should you chose to do so!

We will be checking in on your during your healing phase and you will have a couple of quick post op check appointments with us just to ensure you are on the right track.  Once the implant has integrated, usually 3-6 months from the time of placement, you are ready for your new restoration to be placed on top of the implant.  We will complete digital scans and photos to provide to our lab technician who works side by side with our doctors to design your new tooth and smile.

After your new tooth or teeth have been received from the lab, you will return to our office for your final delivery appointment.  This appointment is much easier than the surgery appointment-the hard work is behind you as this point!  Now it is time for your to enjoy your new teeth and chewing ability.  As with any new restorations, there is an adjustment period and we are here to help you every step along the way!

Next Steps

Would you like to find out if Dental Implants are an option for you?  Schedule for a consultation with one of our dentists today!  We are excited to start the implant journey with you!

Get dental implants today!

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