Knowledge is power when it comes to understanding what happens during a dental implants procedure. In this post, we take you through the steps.
What are dental implants?
Tiny titanium posts are surgically implanted into the jawbone to replace missing teeth. Designed to act as artificial tooth roots, the posts usually support a dental crown. Together, they permanently replace a missing tooth.
For people missing one or more teeth, dental implants may be an option. Depending on the location of your missing tooth or teeth, your health and your budget, dental implants may be your best choice over alternatives such as bridges, and full or partial dentures.
Dental implants look more like natural teeth than dentures and preserve your facial contours.
What's involved in a dental implants procedure?
At Deer Valley Dental, your safety and comfort is our highest priority. Thorough planning is required to ensure you’re a good candidate for the procedure. These are the steps we take:
Consultation & Planning
Your dentist will determine whether you’re healthy enough for the oral surgery and healing process, and ensure your jawbone will hold the dental implants in place. We can perform most dental implant procedures at our Calgary dental clinic.
You’ll typically receive local anesthesia (freezing) to numb the surgical area, and we offer sedation for nervous patients.
Sometimes, damaged teeth are extracted to clear the area for a dental implant, before an alveolar bone graft (synthetic bone) is placed to provide a solid foundation for the implant.
If you have no tooth or bone loss, an onlay bone graft is placed over the existing jawbone.
While an alveolar bone graft should heal for 2 to 6 months after placement, an onlay bone graft will need six or more months to heal. Sometimes, if you have good jawbone quality and quantity, we extract any damaged teeth, then place the implants at the same appointment - an immediate implant placement.
During the dental implant procedure, we:
- Use a drill and tools to place the titanium post into the bone.
- Place a healing cap over the implant and stitch the gums. The post and implant will anchor the replacement tooth.
- Replace missing teeth with a temporary denture for a more aesthetically pleasing appearance.
- Healing can take anywhere from 2 to 6 months for the implant to merge with the bone. Avoid placing any stress on the area as it heals.
- During follow-up appointments, we’ll check the surgical site to ensure it hasn’t become infected and that healing is happening on schedule.
- After this time, we test the dental implant to confirm its success, then attach a custom-designed crown to the implant post with a screw.
Because we use local anesthetic, you shouldn’t feel any pain during the procedure, but may feel discomfort similar to a tooth extraction post-surgery. Pain can usually be managed by holding an ice pack to the area and taking over-the-counter pain medications.