If this is your first time learning about dental implants, the process may seem incredibly foreign at first. The good news is dental implants have been used for several decades now and the process of placing them has only been perfected over time. When placed by a professional like Dr. Melody Ward, who’s a specialist in periodontics, you can rest knowing that each step of your treatment is carefully planned and performed with a very high level of expertise. To learn more about the process, keep reading below or give our office a call to schedule a consultation!
Dental implant treatment is broken down into three main phases. This includes the placement, healing and restoration phase. Prior to these phases of treatment, you’ll need to schedule a consultation with Dr. Ward so she can confirm your exact restorative needs.
Dental implant treatment can require a fairly high amount of planning depending on the complexity of your case. This is why the consultation is so important to your overall treatment. During this meeting, you’ll discuss your goals and your needs, including but not limited to:
Once all planning has been taken into consideration, we’ll schedule the date and time for your oral surgery. During surgery, we’ll administer a local anesthetic to ensure that you feel as comfortable as possible throughout treatment. To start, we’ll create a small incision in your gum tissue and place the titanium post inside of your jaw, then close the gum tissue.
Over the next four to six months, you’ll need to allow the implant to heal. During this healing phase, the titanium post is integrating with your bone tissue. This process, known as osseointegration, is what gives the implant its incredibly sturdy and long-lasting foundation. During routine follow-up appointments, we’ll confirm that your implant is healing as planned, then schedule a separate surgery to place the abutment.
After the implant has fully integrated, we’ll place an abutment on top. The abutment acts as a connector for your implant and eventual restoration. To place the abutment, we’ll reopen your gum tissue where the implant sits, then firmly attach it. Over the next couple of weeks, the gum tissue will naturally heal around the implant and abutment.
After your gum tissue has fully healed, you’ll come back to our office to have impressions of the implant taken. This impression is what will be used to create your permanent restoration. The creation of this restoration takes about two weeks to design and fabricate.
Dental implants are maintained much like natural teeth. You’ll need to brush them twice a day with fluoridated toothpaste and floss daily as you would normal teeth. You’ll also need to visit our office every six months for professional cleanings and exams. Dr. Ward will also go over your aftercare process immediately following your surgery. This typically includes: