Thinking about dental implants to replace a missing tooth or teeth? There are many benefits to this treatment. With that said, this is not a one-day procedure. In fact, there are multiple steps within the process.
Discover the process of getting dental implants at Country Club Dentistry in Rancho Mirage.
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants replace missing or damaged teeth in your mouth. They look and function just like natural teeth. As such, there are zero dietary restrictions with them. This means you can still enjoy all your favorite foods. If you maintain a regular oral health routine that includes brushing and flossing, dental implants can last a lifetime.
Implants lay within the gum line and are anchored to the jawbone. Therefore, they support themselves, which relieves any possible stress to the teeth that surround your dental implant. They also encourage jawbone stimulation. This helps keep the bones in your jaw strong and healthy, so they don’t shrink.
Once you decide on dental implants, there are some steps that need to be followed.
1. Schedule A Consultation With A Rancho Mirage Implant Dentist
After you’ve given the green light around your dental implants, the first thing to do is book a consultation with your dentist. During this appointment, you’ll chat about the type of implants needed. You may require one tooth replaced, or many. The All-on-x system offers an option that replaces an entire arch of your teeth with only four to six implants.
At this time, your dentist will take X-rays or potentially 3D imaging of your teeth to build “impressions”. These will help to create your dental implant placement. Lastly, your dentist will also determine if your jawbone has the strength to tolerate the new implant. If it can’t, then a discussion around bone grafting will take place.
2. Damaged Tooth Removal
In some cases, dental implants replace a tooth that is beyond repair. If that tooth is still in your mouth, it will have to be pulled. This procedure requires a local anesthetic. It takes approximately three to four weeks for your gums to heal.
3. Bone Grafting
If your jawbone doesn’t have the strength (or bone needed) to hold a dental implant, bone grafting comes into play. This is when your dentist in Rancho Mirage takes a little bone from another area and adds it to your jaw to prep for the implant.
Bone grafting treatments take about four to 12 months to heal. As such, this is the time you have to wait before your dental implant placement. However, minor bone grafting procedures can take place during your implant surgery.
4. Dental Implant Placement
Time for some dental implant action! After possible bone grafting and/or tooth removal, the implant can now be placed in. Your dentist does this by cutting into your gums, then drilling a titanium rod into your jawbone. This acts as your new tooth root. It takes approximately four to seven months for your dental implant to “fuse” with your jawbone.
5. “Healing” Cap Placement
After placing the dental implants, your Rancho Mirage dentist places a “healing” cap on the end of your dental implant. This is so that it flushes with your gums. It acts like a metal collar and guides gum tissue to heal around the cap. This prepares your gums for the abutment and crown attachment.
6. Abutment and Temporary Teeth Placement
To prevent you from wearing a toothless smile while your jaw heals, the next step is adding your dental implant abutment and temporary replacement teeth. For a full arch, it may be a bridge or dentures, and for a single tooth, it will be a crown. The short-term replacement teeth stay in place while your gums heal. Once Dr. Strober feels your gums have healed enough to support your permanent restoration, he will take impressions to send to the lab.
7. Permanent Replacement Teeth Placement
The final step is the placement of your permanent replacement teeth, either a bridge or crown. The final restoration is custom-designed to complement your facial features and blend in with any remaining teeth. However, once your permanent replacement teeth are placed, your procedure is over and you can go about your life with your brand new smile!
You may need a local anesthetic during this final procedure. Afterward, you might feel a little discomfort from soreness or swelling around the jaw.