Endosseous dental implants are the most widely used implants available and a popular way to replace missing teeth as they are the closest you can get to natural teeth. There are many steps to this dental implant process to create a solid foundation and a long-lasting result.
- Consultation. During your initial, thorough consultation, your dentist will examine and take imaging of your mouth to provide a treatment plan and discuss your options. An endosseous implant may be ideal for you if you have enough jawbone width and height to support it.
- Implant placement. During this appointment the implant will be placed in your jawbone in the location of the missing tooth. The implant is designed to mimic the natural root of the tooth. Intravenous sedation is used to keep you comfortable. You may have some swelling, bruising and minor pain, but you should be able to return to work the next day.
- Osseointegration. The process of osseointegration is when your implant and jawbone grow together to form a strong foundation for your replacement tooth. This healing process can take a few months. You will follow a soft food diet as your implant heals. A temporary tooth can be placed if desired.
- Abutment placement. Osseointegration can take a few months to complete before the next step. At the gum line, a small connector called an abutment is attached to the implanted post.
- Create custom-made tooth and attach to abutment. Once your gums heal, impressions of your mouth and surrounding teeth will be made to custom make your artificial tooth. The crown or bridge will be attached to the abutment to complete the process. You will care for your new tooth the same as you would your natural teeth.
- Follow-up appointments. This dental implant process can take anywhere from three to nine months from start to finish depending on the number and types of implants you receive. You will have periodic check-ups to make sure