The Stages of Dental Implants
Planning of treatment – this is important. Before you can have the dental implant surgery you will need to be checked over to see if your mouth hygiene is healthy. There may be extra plaque or tartar in there, so it may be as simple as going to see a hygienist. On the other hand, it could be more serious, and you may need something such as a bone graft for example. Once that is all sorted, the dentist will give you a treatment plan.
Implant placement – this is a simple minor surgery that can be performed under sterile conditions in a dental surgery. By making an incision in the gum, the jawbone is exposed. A small hole is then prepared in the bone of the jaw. The implant is then placed into the area. During a period of months, up to six months, the implant attaches itself to the gums. The patient will most likely have to visit the dentist several times during this period.
Abutment placement – a cover screw or a healing abutment could be used.A cover screw is in line with the surface of the implant and covered by mucosa, which is a membrane that covers certain organs in the body. A healing abutment is where a collar is screwed on the top of the implant, which helps the gum tissue surrounding it heal. After the abutment a period of healing is necessary. When the gums have healed, the final abutments are placed.
Integration period – this is the period of time the healing of the incision takes place. Temporary dentures or bridgework are used as necessary. In some instances, temporary teeth can be fixed to the implants while they integrate. This is known as ‘immediate loading’. Immediate loading makes sure that the patient visits are reduced in number and the time-to-teeth is shortened, which benefits both the dental professional and the patient.
Restorative phase –a dental technician will construct a definitive restoration such as a single crown or small or large bridge. The restorative dentist fits and makes the permanent prosthesis. During the implant process, the dentist will also make any temporary prothesis. A single prothesis is used to replace one missing tooth, a partial prothesis will replace two or more implants and may only require two or three implants. A complete prothesis replaces all of the teeth in your lower or upper jaw.
Maintenance – after the dental implant procedure, the patient must thoroughly and regularly clean their teeth. The dental hygienist will make sure you follow a good regimen. On every visit post- treatment, clinical evaluation and radiographic evaluation should be done. The key to longevity of an implant is by conjoining good professional care with patient care at home.As long as you follow your dental professional’s advice and combine it with good self-care then you should see your dental implants fitting in very nicely.