Steps for the Dental Implant Procedure
A careful assessment is made of the jawbone and missing teeth using X-rays. This stage allows your dentist to determine your candidacy for implants and which type of implant would be most beneficial for your specific condition. Dental moulds (models) will be made to determine the ideal position and type of implant.
A minor operation is performed to place the implant into the jawbone. The gum is then stitched around the implant. At this stage, the implant is level with the surface of the gum and cannot be seen. This surgery may be done with either a local or general anesthetic.
A healing period of between 3-8 weeks is generally required prior to proceeding to the third step. You may experience some initial swelling or discolouration of the gums. Your dentist may provide you with medications or instructions for your gum care.
A titanium abutment (extension post) is screwed into each implant. This process can normally be done on an outpatient basis as oral surgery is not required. At this stage, additional impressions may be taken for the final replacement teeth, and a temporary tooth or bridge may be fitted. Your dentist may also have special cleaning or other instructions for you to follow for proper maintenance of your abutments.
The completed teeth are connected to the implants providing a secure, stable and natural looking replacement for the teeth that have been lost. You begin to care for your implants as if they were your natural teeth. Your dentist will probably schedule follow-up appointments to ensure that your implants are fitting properly. If you experience any pain or your bite is loose or weak, let your dentist know immediately.