Dealing with missing teeth can be a difficult experience. However, while going to a dental implant specialist may seem intimidating, it is your best bet for getting those missing teeth taken care of.
Advanced techniques have made implant surgeries highly successful and effective. In order for you to feel more comfortable when you visit a Houston dental implant specialist, here is a rundown of the typical process.
The Initial Consultation
The first step is to schedule a consultation with a specialist. Most likely this will either be a prosthodontist or a general dentist who has received advanced training in dental implants.
During the consultation, the dentist will perform a comprehensive examination. This typically involves a review of your medical and dental history, x-rays and taking impressions of your teeth and gums to create models. Sometimes the implant dentist may also order a CT scan. This will allow the dentist to determine how much jawbone is present as well locate structures such as nerves that will need to be avoided during surgery.
The results of the CT scan may reveal that there is not sufficient jawbone to perform the surgery. In this case, your dentist may discuss options such as a bone grafting procedure. This will build up your jawbone back to a sufficient amount for surgery.
Placement of the Implant
If sufficient jawbone is present, then the next phase of surgery can begin. In this phase, the implant is placed into the jawbone. This is done by drilling a hole into the jawbone. Accurate placement is achieved via a plastic surgical guide, formed to match the needs of your surgery. If a traditional implant procedure is performed, the specialist will wait several months to allow the implant to fuse to the jawbone before proceeding to the next phase.
Placement of Temporary Crown
After the implant has properly fused to the jawbone, the specialist will place a healing cap on the implant for up to two week to ensure the proper healing of the surrounding tissue. Once the gum has healed, an abutment is securely screwed on to the implant. A temporary crown will then be attached to the abutment while the permanent crown is prepared.
The Permanent Crown
The last step is the attachment of the permanent crown. A permanent crown is formed using a model of your teeth, gums and the abutment. The permanent crown will either be cemented or screwed on to the abutment. The dentist will notify you of any special instructions throughout the process. After surgery, taking care of your implant is similar to how you would care for natural teeth.
Keep in mind that the above process describes the traditional process for dental implant surgery. A one-stage procedure may be used in some cases. In the one-stage procedure, an implant, abutment and temporary crown can be placed all in one visit.
Looking for a Houston dental implant specialist? Dr. Velasco of Uptown Cosmetic and Implant Dentistry has successfully performed thousands of implant procedures. Contact us for more information on how we can help you get your smile back!