The Stages of Dental Implant Treatment
By Dr. Tim Simpson on April 03, 2013
Dental implants are an excellent treatment option to permanently replace missing teeth. If you're considering dental implant treatment to replace your missing teeth, it may be helpful to understand the treatment stages of this procedure. Cosmetic dentist Tim Simpson, located near Snyder TX, offers this overview of the stages of dental implant treatment to help you understand what to expect when you undergo the dental implant procedure.
Stage 1: Determining if You're a Candidate
The first stage of the dental implant procedure is to determine if you are a candidate. Candidates for dental implants should be missing one or more teeth, have otherwise healthy gums and teeth, be in good general health, and have sufficient jawbone. The condition of the jawbone will be determined via x-ray. There must be enough bone in order for dental implant treatment to be successful. If there isn't enough bone tissue, a bone graft may be done to rebuild the jaw. Bone grafts may use bone from another area of the body or a special synthetic material. Once the jawbone is determined to be sufficient, the next stage of the dental implant treatment process will begin.
Stage 2: Dental Implant Surgery
The next stage of the dental implant process is the actual dental implant surgery. Dental implant surgery is typically performed as an outpatient procedure. During the procedure, the dental implant (which is a titanium post) is surgically placed within the jawbone. The jawbone must fully heal before the permanent dental implant restoration can be attached.
Stage 3: The Healing Process
The third stage of the dental implant treatment process involves healing, or osseointegration. Osseointegration is the process in which the jawbone heals around the dental implant, forming a secure bond. Osseointegration may take anywhere from two to six months.
Stage 4: Abutment Placement
The dental restoration, either a crown, bridge or dentures, are attached to the dental implant by a piece called an abutment. The abutment may be placed during the initial dental implant surgery, while the bone heals, or after full recovery. Some people choose to wait for their jaw to fully heal before abutment placement so the abutment will not be visible during the healing process. If the abutment is placed later, the gums are reopened and the attachment will be placed on the implant. The gums are then allowed to heal for one or two weeks before the final stage of dental implant treatment.
Stage 5: Restoration Placement
Once the gums and bone are fully healed, you will be ready for the final stage of the dental implant process. The final stage entails restoration placement. The type of restoration you receive will be decided between you and your dentist, but will depend on the number and location of teeth needing replacement. Restorations include dental crowns (for individual tooth replacement), dental bridges (for replacing two or three teeth), or implant-supported dentures (for replacing multiple teeth).
Schedule a Consultation
For our patients in Snyder, TX, dental implants are a great way to permanently restore chewing ability and appearance. Schedule a consultation today to see if dental implant treatment is right for you.
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“I have used Dr Simpson for the last 20 years. I cannot say enough about how friendly, awesome and amazing he AND his staff are. I highly recommend him and his office! Amazing care and people!” Terri C.