A Patient's Guide to The Dental Implant Procedure

A Patient’s Guide to The Dental Implant Procedure

Dental implants are one of the most popular tooth replacement options available. They look natural, function just like real teeth, and are long-lasting solutions, too. All of these benefits often prompt patients to seek out more information about dental implants — and to find out if they are a good candidate for them.

This patient’s guide to the dental implant procedure will give you a better understanding of what to expect.

Step One: The Consultation

Before you can move forward with a dental implant procedure, you have to know whether or not you are a candidate for it. Setting up an appointment with a skilled periodontist is the best place to start.

During this appointment, you can expect to have a comprehensive oral exam as well as some digital images and impressions. The dental specialist is trying to confirm that you have a sufficient amount of jawbone to support an implant — and that you have good oral hygiene without any sign of infection.

If you are a candidate for the procedure, your next appointment will be set.

Step 2: Placing the Dental Implant

During the procedure, the implant, typically made of titanium or zirconia, will be surgically placed in the jaw. Local anesthesia will be used so that you do not feel anything for the duration.

You will be given post-surgical instructions that you should follow carefully to reduce the risk of infection and give yourself the best chance for success. It will take anywhere from 3 to 6 months for the implant and the bone to fuse thanks to a process known as osseointegration. During this time, the surrounding soft tissue will grow around the implant as if it were a natural tooth root.

Keep in mind that if you do not have sufficient bone mass in the jaw, you will be required to undergo bone grafting before the dental implant can be placed. This may add several additional weeks/ months  to the overall process but is necessary to ensure the success of the implant.

Step 3: Adding the Dental Crown

Once your dental specialist feels that the implant has fused to the bone and can become a strong anchor for the tooth, the dental crown will be attached to the post with the help of an abutment. This crown will be customized to match your other teeth in size, shape, and color so that it will blend in well and look just like one of your other teeth.

With this addition, your smile and your bite force will be fully restored.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does dental insurance pay for dental implants?

Some insurance plans will cover a percentage of the cost of dental implants. It is always a good idea to check the specifics of your coverage with your insurance carrier.

How long do dental implants last?

The average lifespan for a dental implant is 20 to 30 years. Dental crowns will typically need to be replaced in 10 to 15 years. With exceptional oral hygiene, you can give an ever greater boost to their longevity.

Interested in Dental Implants?

If you would like to learn more about dental implants or see if you are a good candidate for the procedure, the dental specialists at Periodontal Associates can help. We have extensive experience in the perfect placement of dental implants.

If you’d like to learn more or schedule your consultation, contact us today. Or, you can request an appointment online.