The process of dental implants
Those who have suffered the devastating effects of losing one or more teeth know just how much it can affect their everyday lives including how they talk, eat and smile.
There are a number of options available for patients who have experienced tooth loss, but our dental implants in Essex offer a natural comfortable and long-term solution that aesthetically and functionally acts and looks just like real teeth.
What is a Dental Implant?
Dental implants are strong titanium screws that are used as artificial tooth roots. They are surgically implanted into the jawbone where over several months the bone surrounding the implant will gradually grow, holding it securely in place.
Once this has healed properly, an artificial replacement tooth that is custom made to match the patients’ teeth is then attached to the abutment on the implant for natural, long-lasting results.
What Does the Process Entail?
The overall process of dental implants will always vary depending on the individual patient, their unique dental needs and how many implants they are having done. From start to finish the treatment can take several months to complete as the process will involve post op recovery time to ensure that everything is sufficiently healed.
Here is a look at what the typical process for dental implant treatment might involve.
Evaluation and Preparation
- You will attend a free initial consultation where our dentists can get a full and clear understanding of your dental needs and give you the opportunity to ask any questions or share any concerns you may have.
- Either at the same appointment or at another time, you will need to undergo a thorough dental examination which will include scans and x-rays to help – identify any potential issues, assess the existing dentition, structure and density of the bone at the implant site.
- Once the dentist has a comprehensive picture of your oral health, they will be able to make a decision on whether bone grafting is needed or not. This is more commonly needed for teeth that have been missing a long time and will need to be completed before beginning the process of a dental implant.
- No matter what the results of the initial assessment, we will create a detailed treatment plan that is tailored to give you the very best possible results. We will then discuss all of our findings with you, explain the process and help you to make an informed decision on how you want to proceed.
Dental Implant Surgery
- Under local anaesthetic, the oral surgeon will create a small incision in the gum to access the jawbone, then they will drill a hole into the bone before placing the titanium implant in the hole and stitching the gum closed around it.
- If the missing tooth is at the front of the mouth, then it is possible for your dentist to fit a temporary replacement tooth that acts as a partial or temporary denture, whilst the healing process is in progress.
- After surgery, the implant is left to heal for between 3-6 months, during which time it will fully ‘bond’ and fuse with the healing bone, essentially becoming part of the jaw and creating a stable replacement ‘root’.
- Once the site has fully healed, a metal ‘abutment’ is placed into the dental implant via a small surgical procedure. During this, the abutment is attached to the implant where it will act as a connector between the implant and the new replacement tooth when the time comes.
- After around 2 weeks if healing, impressions of your mouth will be made and used to make a custom crown that is the perfect size, shape and colour for you. These will generally take a few weeks to make at least, at the end of which time your jawbone will be fully healed and strong enough to support a new tooth.
Finally, your new crowns or replacement teeth are attached to the abutments, and you can enjoy your brand new, beautiful smile.