Tooth loss is indeed a real nightmare – it can lead to a severely misaligned bite, misshapen your facial structure, and you will constantly feel self-conscious every time you speak and smile with others. Good news is, today’s dentistry is offering multiple solutions to this problem. These include getting dental crowns, bridges and dentures, or a relatively new yet popular choice among them all known as dental implants. So what happens in a dental implant procedure? Is it something for you?

dental implant

Read on with Sydney and find out right now. 

1. Overview

Simply put, a dental implant serves as an alternative tooth root which is surgically put into your jawbone. However, as people talk about dental implants, what they usually mean is the entire functional piece that comprises:

  • A metal post, usually made of titanium;
  • An abutment, which is the connector between the implant post and the top prosthesis;
  • The prosthesis or tooth restoration, which can be a porcelain crown, bridge, or denture – to be bound as the final step of a dental implant treatment.

The procedure for a dental implant treatment entails multiple stages that require many months to complete. Take a look at the steps below to have a better idea of what you should expect if you go with this tooth restoration approach.

2. Initial consultation

You will have a first visit with the dentist where they will give you a thorough oral exam to learn well about your dental state and the condition of your jawbone. Most of the time, they will take X-rays and impressions of your mouth then take notes of the color of your teeth for fabricating an artificial tooth for you in the lab.

At this same visit, the dentist will also ask for your medical and dental history. If they think you are not eligible for a dental implant treatment, they may recommend other alternatives or additional procedures to improve your candidacy. Alternatives may include getting dental crowns, bridges, and dentures. You are likely to be a good candidate for dental implants if you have:

  • Good overall health;
  • Healthy gums;
  • Enough jawbone to hold implants in place;
  • Proper oral hygiene;
  • Periodic visits to the dentist.

On the other hand, certain risk factors can affect your eligibility for implants, that is if you:

  • Are under 18 years old. Dental implants should only be given to those with a fully developed jaw;
  • Are a smoker or tobacco user;
  • Have significant missing jawbone;
  • Practice poor oral hygiene;
  • Have severe tooth decay;
  • Have ongoing periodontal conditions;
  • Have underlying health problems, such as bone or autoimmune disorders.

dental implant

3. Preparatory procedures if needed

3.1. Tooth extraction

An extraction will be ordered by the dentist before dental implant surgery if the affected tooth is still in your jaw. This procedure can be carried out at the same visit as the implant placement. 

3.2. Bone grafting

A surgery called a dental bone graft is recommended for patients with a considerable amount of lost jawbone. The graft can be from several sources like your own body, a human or animal tissue bank, or it can be generated in the lab.

3.3. Sinus lift

It is a lot trickier to place implants into your upper back jaw. The reason behind this is a person is more likely to have insufficient or unhealthy jawbone in the area. Moreover, it is adjacent to your sinus. This can be fixed with a sinus lift where your sinus floor is elevated for more space to accommodate jawbone regeneration to support dental implants.

4. Insertion of the implant post

While it is possible to have the implant and artificial tooth placed on the same day, it is more common for them to be done at separate visits at intervals of a few months.

For the implant placement, the dentist will put you under local anesthesia to numb your mouth up. IV sedation may also be used. This is to give you a pain-free, comfortable procedure. Next, the surgeon will create a small incision into your gums then put the implant where your lost tooth is. After that, they will close the gums over the implant to keep it covered.

5. Recovery & Osseointegration

You will feel a little off-balance following the implant placement if general anesthesia is used. Some side effects are normal, which inlcude mild pain, discomfort, swelling, bruising, and bleeding. These can be eased with OTC pain killers as recommended by the dentist. They will also likely advise you to have soft and cold foods as well as warm soup for a few days right after surgery.

You will have your healing time at home to enable the process where the placed implant post gets anchored into the jawbone, which is widely known as osseointegration. This is to ensure that the post is secure enough to hold the top prosthesis in place, making the dental implant a functional, stable restoration in your mouth. As healing varies from patient to patient, osseointegration may take somwhere up to 6 months before you can come back for the next appointment.

dental implant

6. Abutment attachment

During this visit, the dentist will first check if the implant post is secure enough in your jaw. If everything is good, they will proceed to bind an abutment to the metal implant post to hold the new tooth.

Prosthesis placement

After a couple of weeks of waiting time for your gums to heal, you will return to have the final part, top tooth restoration, placed. 

This restoration is designed based on the impressions and looks of your original teeth to be well-fitting and natural-looking. And then you can go home with a new bright smile.

The aftercare

Considering dental implants are no different from the real deal, proper maintenance and care are similar to how you tend to your original teeth. Here are some handy tips:

  • Brush, floss, and rinse with a mouthwash twice a day;
  • See the dentist for regular checkups and cleanings;
  • Refrain from activities that can cause great trauma to your mouth;
  • Limit foods that may be too heavy on your implants, such as hot, spicy, and hard-textured ones.

A word from Sydney

Hopefully this read from us has helped you understand what is included in a dental implant procedure so you will have an easier time considering your options. If you are still unsure of anything in search of a new unforgettably stunning smile, do not hesitate to reach out to us. We are at 499-501 Ba Hat St, Ward 8, District 10, HCMC, Vietnam looking forward to your visit. You may also call us at (028) 3504 9440 for a free no-obligation comprehensive consultation. Your pretty, shiny smile is 100% guaranteed at Sydney Dental!