If you are considering dental implants, you might know that the procedure is complicated. The entire procedure can take several months and involves many steps.
Understanding the steps involved can help you know what to expect and decide whether dental implants are right for you. This blog will explain the steps in a general way. The best way to understand these steps for your procedure is to talk to Rancho Mirage implant dentist Dr. Rod Strober in person.
Before Placing Dental Implants
Rancho Mirage implant dentist Dr. Strober might recommend several steps in the procedure before he will place the dental implant. The steps before placing the dental implant might include the following:
- Tooth extraction
- Gum disease treatment
- Bone graft
Depending on your oral health, these steps might take from a few weeks to a few months to complete.
At your initial consultation, Rancho Mirage implant dentist Dr. Strober will talk to you about your medical history and your goals for your dental implant procedure. He will evaluate your oral health, and if he has concerns about your general health, he might refer you to other specialists.
Either in the same or a separate appointment, Dr. Strober will take x-rays and utilize cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) to help plan your implant procedure. CBCT is a special x-ray that constructs a 3D image of your jawbone, including assessing the volume and density of bone where your implant will go.
After considering the results of your oral exam and x-rays, Dr. Strober will either recommend moving straight to implant placement or will recommend other steps first.
If you still have a natural tooth or teeth where you want your implant or implants to be, Rancho Mirage implant dentist Dr. Strober will have to decide whether it’s best to extract these teeth early or do it as part of the implant procedure.
Normally, the main reasons to extract teeth early are gum disease or bone deficiency.
Gum Disease Treatment
Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss among adults in the US. It’s also the leading cause of dental implant failure. If you have serious gum disease, Rancho Mirage implant dentist Dr. Strober might want to treat it before placing implants.
Treating gum disease can take a few weeks to a few months.
Your dental implant will depend on your bone for support. If you don’t have enough healthy bone at the implant site, you might benefit from a bone graft. Rancho Mirage implant dentist Dr. Strober will use bone from either you, a separate donor, or an artificial bone, depending on the amount and type of graft you need. You can talk to Dr. Strober about the source of your graft before he places it.
Although Dr. Strober can do minor bone grafting at the time of your surgery, in some cases, he might need to do it beforehand. In that case, it might take months to heal before Dr. Strober places the implant.
Placing the Dental Implant
On the day of your dental implant surgery, Rancho Mirage implant dentist Dr. Strober will help you understand the scope of your procedure and the time necessary. For simple implant placement, the procedure might take as little as 30 minutes. If you need extractions, multiple implants, bone grafting, and temporary restorations, the procedure will take longer, sometimes several hours.
When Dr. Strober places your dental implant or implants, he will evaluate their stability. If they’re stable enough, you can get a provisional restoration (dental crown, dental bridge, or denture) on the same day. This is more common with All-on-X implant systems. We might also do it for Snap-In dentures. We discuss in detail when dental implants can be placed right away. Otherwise, Dr. Strober might place a healing abutment or cover the implants completely by stitching the gums closed over them.
After Placing the Dental Implant
After Rancho Mirage implant dentist Dr. Strober places your dental implant, it’s time to let your body heal. The gum tissue around your dental implant site can take about two weeks to heal. During this time, you’ll have restrictions on your diet and oral hygiene. You’ll also experience some discomfort that will increase for a few days, then taper off after a week or so. Dr. Strober might prescribe painkillers, but many people don’t need them–over-the-counter medications work well enough. Dental implant placement causes less discomfort than a tooth extraction, so if you had both done at once, you may experience more discomfort and may request prescription pain medication.
If you have provisional restorations, you might want to avoid chewing hard, tough, or crunchy food on them for up to four weeks. By the time your gums are healed, your bones are still in the part of healing where they might need a little extra care.
By six months, your bone should be fully healed. What happens next depends on what Dr. Strober decided on the day he placed your implants. If you received provisional restorations, Dr. Strober will take impressions for your permanent restoration, then place it.
If you have a healing abutment, Dr. Strober will remove it, then take impressions for the permanent restoration.
However, if your implants were covered at the time of surgery, Dr. Strober will uncover them with an incision to your gums. He will place a healing abutment. After two weeks, Dr. Strober can remove the healing abutment and take impressions for your permanent restoration.
The First Step to Get Dental Implants in Rancho Mirage
Of course, before we can do any of this for you, you have to reach out to Dr. Strober about dental implants.
If you would like to learn more about replacing missing teeth, please contact experienced Rancho Mirage implant dentist Dr. Rod Strober to schedule a consultation at Country Club Dentistry, near the Rancho Mirage Country Club.