Are You a Candidate?
The vast majority of patients who have suffered the loss of one or more teeth are great candidates for this life-changing treatment. The optimal time to undergo dental implant placement is shortly after tooth loss. Over time, a missing tooth will cause the surrounding alveolar bone to atrophy, which can compromise your candidacy for a dental implant.
During your dental implant consultation at our office, one of our doctors will determine if you have any medical conditions that could compromise oral surgery and recovery. Our office offers advanced digital x-rays that use minimal radiation. Ideal candidates are in good oral health. Any gum disease, tooth decay, or other dental problems will need to be treated before your oral surgery can be scheduled.
Dental Implant Procedure
Once your candidacy has been established, a date will be scheduled for your oral surgery. Your comfort will be a high priority for our doctor. Local anesthesia will be used to numb the tissue and bone at the treatment site. Our office offers two forms of sedation (nitrous oxide and oral sedation) that will put you in a relaxed twilight state while your surgery is performed.
Once you are comfortable, an incision will be made in your gums so your jawbone can be accessed. After a small hole is drilled to guide the implant, the surgical-grade titanium post will be placed in the jawbone. Once the implant is placed, any incisions will be sutured, and gauze will be used to slow bleeding. Following the outpatient surgery, you will be released to return home to rest and recover.
If you do experience discomfort following surgery, it will likely only last for a few days. Most pain can be managed with over-the-counter medications. For the first few days after surgery, patients should rest as much as possible. Most patients are able to return to work the day after implant placement.
You will be provided with recovery guidelines that may include advice to refrain from strenuous activity and to take prescribed medications on time. You should also refrain from consuming alcohol or using tobacco products for a period of time. Over the course of the next few months, the bone tissue surrounding the implant will fuse with the titanium post through a natural process called osseointegration.
At some point during your recovery, a second appointment will be made so one of our doctors can attach a small metal device called an abutment to the implant. This device connects your crown, bridge, or denture to the implant. Once your final restoration or prosthetic is attached, your false teeth will effectively be anchored directly to your jawbone — just like natural teeth.
Maintaining your dental implants is easy. Good oral hygiene habits, regular visits for dental cleanings and check-ups, and a healthy diet can ensure that your implants last for a lifetime.