The dental implants are made up of metal screw-like posts or fixtures. Titanium is the most commonly used material for dental implants, as it is biocompatible and fuses with the jawbone easily.
Dental implants are a safe and effective tooth replacement procedure for people who have lost one or more teeth and want to replace them using a treatment option that will also prevent bone and gum deterioration.
Dental implants look like natural teeth and allow you to speak and chew properly without fearing the replacement teeth slipping, making noise, or damaging your jawbone. Even though the surgical procedure is invasive, dental implants are the most favored tooth replacement procedure compared to dental bridges and dentures.
What Is the All-on-4® Treatment Concept?
The All-on-4® Treatment Concept is a dental implant technique in which a whole upper or lower set of teeth is replaced using four implants. This efficient technique allows the replacement of several teeth with just four implants, rather than using a single tooth implant for every missing tooth.
What Hurts More: Tooth Extraction or Implants?
Understanding the pain intensity or discomfort you can expect post-tooth extraction or dental implant surgery is essential. Such awareness will reduce the anxiety or hesitation that you might feel regarding this treatment option.
Every person perceives pain differently, but dental implant surgery generally does not produce pain or discomfort more than a tooth extraction. After the surgery, minor pain can be controlled by OTC pain relievers like Advil or Tylenol.
The surgical procedure is far less inconvenient than a tooth extraction, as, after an extraction, a patient must avoid brushing around the extraction site and allow it to heal properly. Bleeding and soreness are common phenomena after tooth extraction.
The dental implant surgical procedure requires fewer limitations of daily activities by the patient. After getting an implant, you must avoid a few things, like eating sticky or hard foods. However, fast healers can return to normal eating habits after 48 hours of the surgery.
What is the Procedure for Dental Implants?
The dental implant procedure can take up to nine months to complete. It is a complex and extensive treatment process performed under multiple steps. A team of dental professionals, including oral surgeons and periodontists, is involved to smoothly carry out the procedure.
Initial EvaluationThe first step in the dental implant procedure is getting your gums, jawbone, and teeth evaluated for diseases and bone density. The doctor will review your dental x-rays and models of your teeth and jaw.
Medical HistoryYour doctor will check whether you suffer from periodontal disease or any other chronic systemic disease. Furthermore, your jawbone is assessed to check whether it is strong and thick enough to support an implant.
If you are suffering from bone loss, or have a soft jawbone that is soft enough to damage during the surgery, then your doctor will recommend getting a bone regeneration or bone grafting process first.
Treatment PlanAfter the evaluation, the doctor will lay out a treatment plan, which includes determining the replacement teeth involved, the number of dental implants the patient wishes to get, and the expected procedure scope.
Your doctor will inform you whether the procedure is done under local or general anesthesia and if you are required to bring someone along with you to take you home after the completion of surgery.
Dental Implant PlacementDental implant placement is a surgical process in which your oral surgeon will make an incision or cut in the gums to expose your jawbone.
After that, the surgeon will drill small holes in your jawbone, which designates the location and placement of the dental implant posts.
The dental implants are placed inside the jawbone. Suppose you don't have a healthy jawbone to support an implant. In that case, a subperiosteal implant is possible while it is placed under the gums without the need to drill the jawbone.
Swelling and discomfort after implant placement are normal phenomena, and the pain subsides after a few days.
Fusion of Implant with the JawboneIn a process known as osseointegration, the dental implant will fuse with the jawbone over the course of two to six months. The new bone growth occurs around the implant, which will strengthen the implant as it is held firmly in place.
Abutment PlacementThe abutment is a metal extender connected to the dental implant and protrudes through the gums into the oral cavity. The abutment placement is done in a one-stage surgery, or the surgeon will make a minor incision into the gum tissue after jawbone healing.
The abutment connects the prosthetic tooth to the dental implant, and after the abutment is screwed in place, gum tissues are allowed to heal for several weeks before the next step.
Tooth PlacementAfter the healing process, the dentist will create a replacement fixed or removable tooth. This dental crown will look like your neighboring teeth and fill the gap of the missing tooth.
A fixed prosthetic tooth is permanently cemented onto the abutment, and a removable tooth is mounted on the abutment so it can be removed easily.
Final StepsAfter the dental implant process is complete, your dentist will ask whether you are experiencing discomfort, pain, or an uncomfortable bite.
It takes about 48 hours to one week to return to normal eating habits. Until then, food that is easy to chew is recommended.
You can clean your dental implants in the same way as regular brushing and flossing. Ensure that you schedule regular visits to the dentist and take care of your oral hygiene, which will determine the lifetime durability of your dental implants.
Pacific Modern Dentistry offers excellent dental implant treatments, and Dr. Jae Seon Kim always looks forward to providing the most comfortable and convenient experience for your tooth replacement journey. Call us at (206)284-4505 to schedule your appointment.
For more information, check out our Dental Implant FAQ!