What Are Dental Implants & How Does The Procedure Go?

Dental implants are a dental solution that replace missing teeth to allow you to continue eating, speaking, and smiling as you would with natural teeth. These implants consist of the titanium implant portion (the part that is placed where your tooth root would normally reside, under the gums), the abutment (the attachment piece that connects the crown to the implant), and the crown (the “tooth” part). There are many options for replacing teeth such as getting a crown, bridge, and/or dentures, which offer the look, feel and function of real teeth, but dental implants offer more than just the look and function of teeth. In fact, dental implants can stimulate new bone growth, which helps to keep the shape of your jaw (and your face) intact.

The Dental Implant Process

Step One

If you are considering dental implants, it’s best to become as informed as you can so that you know what to expect. The first step in the process is to have a consultation with an accredited implant dentist. Choosing the right dentist with proper training is crucial in ensuring good results, and an implant that will last for years to come.

The American Academy of Implant Dentistry (AAID) offers a tool on their website to search for an accredited implant dentist nearest to you. During your consultation, the dentist will thoroughly examine your mouth as well as take x-rays to make sure that you are a candidate.

Step Two

After determining your candidacy for dental implants, your dentist will recommend that you schedule a separate appointment to come in for scans and x-rays to help plan for the first stage. The first stage is usually referred to as the “implant placement,” where the actual implant portion is inserted into the space beneath your gums where the original tooth root was.

This is generally done under Intravenous (IV) sedation to ensure you are as comfortable as possible. When this stage is complete, you will likely have to wait a few weeks to months for the bone around the implant to heal before getting the abutment and crown placed. In the meantime, your dentist may place a temporary crown over the surgical site to allow for eating and speaking.

Step Three

During this appointment, the dentist will check to see how the osseointegration process is going (process in which the bone and implant fuse together to form a strong, natural foundation for the crown and abutment). As long as everything looks good, the dentist will “uncover” the implant.

Depending on the type of process your implant dentist may have to laser some gum tissue away in order to access the implant again, or they may just have to simply unscrew an implant cover. Next, an impression and/or digital scan is taken of the implant site and surrounding teeth so that the custom crown and abutment can be made.

Step Four

At the end of your step three appointment, you will schedule your final appointment for the abutment and crown placement. Step four is the final appointment, where the abutment and crown are finally inserted. If no adjustments need to be made, at the end of this appointment, you will be all good to go!

Dental implants are a worthwhile investment of your time and money. Not only will they be stronger, and longer lasting than any other restoration, they will also allow you to preserve your beautiful bone structure. Advanced DDS is a full-service dental office in Nassau County, NY equipped with an in-house lab and a team of AAID accredited implant dentists. Schedule your dental implant consultation at 516-825-1100 to get started.

Graphic describing the parts of dental implants, and what the benefits of dental implants are.

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