If you have missing teeth, dental implants can be a great alternative to dentures. They look and feel natural and don’t require any special care. Dental implants can be used to replace a single missing tooth or an entire row of teeth, depending on your needs. Discuss your case with an oral surgeon serving San Diego to find out if dental implants are the right choice for you. Here’s a look at how the implant placement process works.
Before you get dental implants , your oral surgeon will need to determine if you have sufficient bone in your jaw to support them. If you do not, you may need to have a bone grafting procedure before getting implants. Your oral surgeon will explain how long after that procedure you need to wait before getting dental implants. If you have enough bone to sustain an implant, your oral surgeon can move directly towards placing the first part of the dental implant, which is the metal post that acts like a tooth root. The post is placed into the jaw, and then the gums are sutured. The post is given time to fuse with the bone in a process called osseointegration. This can take several weeks to a few months.
Once osseointegration has occurred, your oral surgeon can finish the implant procedure. Your surgeon will attach an abutment, which is a screw that is designed to hold the replacement tooth, to the post. Next, a dental crown that has been designed to match your natural teeth is attached to the abutment. If your surgeon is replacing several teeth, a fixed bridge may be used instead of a crown.
It’s possible for oral surgeons to offer faster dental implant placement for some patients. Single-stage implants take about six weeks to complete. With “immediate loading” implants, tooth extraction and dental implant placement are completed in a single office visit. Your oral surgeon will decide which method is best for you based on the specifics of your case.