The Dental Implant Procedure: Making Smiles Whole Again

Dental implants provide a long-lasting and natural-looking alternative to other tooth restoration treatments. The dental implant procedure involves placing a titanium post into the jawbone, which acts as natural tooth roots. This serves as a sturdy foundation for a prosthesis.
In this blog post, we will dive into the details of the dental implant process. Whether you’re considering dental implants or just curious about the process, this guide will provide you with everything you need to know.

By Dr. Mike Alkateb

Royal Dental Spa Craigieburn

The Dental Implant Procedure: Making Smiles Whole Again

Royal Dental Spa Craigieburn

Do you have gaps in your smile caused by missing or damaged teeth? Are the options to replace these lost teeth overwhelming? If so, then a dental implant treatment may be right for you.

Dental implants provide a long-lasting and natural-looking alternative to other tooth restoration treatments. The dental implant procedure involves placing a titanium post into the jawbone, which acts as natural tooth roots. This serves as a sturdy foundation for a prosthesis. 

In this blog post, we will dive into the details of the dental implant process. Whether you’re considering dental implants or just curious about the process, this guide will provide you with everything you need to know.

Summary of the Article:

  • The dental implant process involves consultation and evaluation, a potential bone graft or sinus lift, implant placement, osseointegration, abutment attachment, and restoration placement.

  • Anesthesia is essential in keeping the patient comfortable during the dental implant procedure.

  • The dental implant procedure can cause discomfort but can be managed with local anesthesia. After the procedure, common symptoms include swelling, discomfort, and soreness, but these resolve within a few days to a week.

  • Dental Implants are not the only option to replace missing teeth. Other alternatives include dental bridges, removable dentures, and resin-bonded bridges.

What Are The Steps Involved In The Dental Implant Process

The dental implant process involves the following steps:

  • Consultation and Evaluation
    During the implant consultation, your dentist will thoroughly evaluate your oral health, medical history, and natural teeth. They will also take x-rays and impressions to determine the ideal implant placement.

  • Bone Grafting and Sinus Lift
    For some people, bone grafting may be necessary before dental implant surgery. A bone grafting procedure adds bone to the jaw using donor bone material or an artificial substitute. A dental bone graft is often performed if there isn’t enough natural jaw bone for implant placement. This usually results from bone loss after tooth extraction or periodontal disease.

    Some implant patients may need a sinus lift before a dental implant procedure. This procedure is often required if there isn’t enough bone for implant placement in the upper jaw. A sinus lift procedure involves lifting the sinus membrane and adding bone grafting material to increase the height of the bone in preparation for implant placement.

    The recovery period after a bone grafting or sinus lift procedure can take up to 3-6 months. Once fully recovered, your dentist can perform dental implant surgery.

  • Placement of Implant
    The implant post or titanium screw is surgically placed into the jawbone. Your dentist will incise the gum tissue and drill through your jaw bone to place the tooth implant post, which will act as an artificial tooth root. This is usually done under local anesthesia to keep the patient comfortable.

  • Osseointegration
    After the implant post is placed, the jawbone will need time to heal and fuse to the implant. This process is known as osseointegration. This usually takes several months.

  • Abutment Placement
    Once the artificial root has fully integrated, your dentist will attach an abutment to the implant post. This abutment serves as a connection between the implant and the replacement tooth. Your dentist will incise the gums covering the implant post and secure the abutment over the post.

  • Fabrication of the Prosthesis
    Your dentist will then take an impression of the abutment and send it to a lab to have the prosthesis custom-made. This may be an implant crown, bridge, or denture. While waiting for the prosthesis, your dentist will cover the tooth implant with a temporary crown.

  • Final Restoration Placement
    The final restoration or prosthesis is securely attached to the abutment completing the dental implant process.

    Regular follow-up visits are important to ensure the implant is healthy and monitor for potential complications. Your dentist may also recommend regular cleanings to maintain the implant’s health.

    The actual dental implant process can vary depending on the individual case and the type of restoration being placed. Your dentist can provide more detailed information about what to expect for your specific situation.

What Is The Role of Anesthesia During A Dental Implant Procedure?

Anesthesia plays an important role during dental implant procedures. Local anesthesia can completely numb the area where the implant will be placed and block the pain from the procedure. Ultimately, anesthesia aims to ensure patients experience the dental implant process with minimal stress or pain.

How Is the Dental Implant Procedure Performed on Patients With Multiple Missing Teeth?

The dental implant procedure for patients with multiple missing teeth can be performed in several ways. For example, for patients who only need two implants, the process may involve placing two single or individual implants in the jawbone and attaching abutment posts to support the prosthetic tooth.

An implant-supported bridge can be created to cover the space for those with several missing teeth. In this case, an implant post is placed on each end of the gap, and a bridge made of two crowns and pontics is attached to its abutment.

How long does a dental implant procedure take?

The implant procedure takes around 1-2 hours, but recovery can take between 3 to 6 months. This is because the titanium post will need time to fuse or fully integrate with the jawbone.

Is the Dental Implant Procedure Painful?

Recovering from a dental implant procedure can be quite uncomfortable at the beginning. In addition, the healing period varies depending on the individual and the extent of the surgery.

  • 0-24 hours after surgery
    Immediately after surgery, you may experience swelling and bruising around the surgical area. Ice packs must be applied alternately for 15 minutes to reduce the swelling. Pain medications must also be taken as prescribed by your dentist to manage pain or discomfort during the healing process.

  • 1-3 days after surgery
    Swelling peaks within the first 72 hours and gradually diminishes over the next couple of days. During this time, only soft foods must be eaten to avoid putting an unnecessary strain on the surgical site. Avoid any strenuous activity as this can cause rebleeding in the area.

  • 3-7 days after surgery
    After about three days, you can slowly introduce slightly firmer foods into your diet, like rice. Remember to brush your teeth and rinse your mouth after eating to maintain optimal oral hygiene care; avoid directly brushing the implant site for at least one more week.

    You may start working out during this time but stick with mild or moderate exercise until at least a week after surgery.

  • 1-2 weeks after surgery
    After a week, you should be able to brush directly over the site and start eating more types of food. In two weeks, most patients generally feel back to normal, with only minimal tenderness when touching their implants. Though healing is officially finished, it may take 3-6 months post-surgery for the implant and the jawbone to bond completely.

How Many Dental Implant Appointments Are Required?

The answer varies depending on the individual, but a dental implant procedure usually requires several appointments over several months.

What are the potential risks and complications of a dental implant procedure?

While dental implants have a success rate of 90%-95%, they’re still subject to risks and complications.

  1. Infection:
    Infection is always possible with any surgical procedure. Careful post-operative care is essential to reduce the risk of infection.

  2. Nerve damage:
    Damage to the nerves around the implant site may cause numbness or tingling in your jaw, lips, chin, or gums.

  3. Fractured bone:
    The implanted screws may put too much pressure on the surrounding bone, leading to fractures in the jawbone over time.

  4. Implant failure:
    Failed dental implants occur when the implant does not integrate well with the surrounding bone tissue. This may require re-implantation or removal.

  5. Allergic reactions:
    In rare cases, patients may be allergic to metals used in dental implants, such as titanium or nickel alloys.

How Can I Prepare for My Dental Implant Procedure?

  • Understand the procedure
    Do your research before committing to a treatment plan. It is important to clearly understand the dental implant procedure before surgery.

  • Choose the right dentist
    Find a qualified dentist to perform your oral surgery. And make sure they are board certified and have experience performing dental implant surgery.

  • Schedule a consultation
    Schedule a consultation to discuss your medical history and treatment options. During the initial consultation, ask questions about the procedure and what to expect during recovery. This is also an excellent time to ask about financing options if you’re concerned about the cost of this dental procedure.

  • Quit smoking
    If you’re a smoker, you must quit at least two weeks before your scheduled surgery. Smoking can delay healing and increase the risk of complications after surgery. Additionally, smoking increases the risk of gum disease, which can lead to implant failure.

  • Eat a healthy diet
    Eating a healthy diet before surgery will help your body heal quickly after the procedure. Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and lean protein in the weeks leading to your surgery.

  • Manage your stress levels
    Another important part of preparing for dental implant surgery is managing stress levels. Stress can delay healing and make it more difficult for your body to fight infection.

How Can I Care For My Dental Implants After The Procedure?

  • Take Things Easy
    Get plenty of rest and give your mouth time to heal. Avoid strenuous activities that could cause bleeding or trauma to your surgical site.

  • Eat Soft Foods
    Eat soft foods and drink plenty of fluids for the first few days after your surgery. Avoid hot beverages and alcoholic drinks, as they can irritate your surgical site. Stick to cold or room-temperature foods and beverages.

  • Practice Good Oral Hygiene Habits
    Keep the implant clean. Practising good dental hygiene habits is important for all patients, especially those with dental implants. Brush and floss regularly and see your dentist for regular checkups and cleanings.

  • Wear a Mouthguard at NightIf you grind your teeth at night, wear a mouthguard to protect your dental implants. Teeth grinding can damage the implant and cause implant failure.

  • Take Over-The-Counter Pain Relievers
    Dental implant surgery can cause discomfort and pain. You can alleviate this discomfort by taking over-the-counter pain medication like ibuprofen and acetaminophen.

Are There Any Alternatives to Dental Implants For Replacing Missing Teeth?

Replacing a missing tooth can be a difficult decision. Luckily, there are several alternatives out there! Here is a list of other options available besides dental implants:

A bridge consists of false teeth held in place by two crowns on either side. They can be made of gold, alloy, porcelain, or a combination. Bridges are used when there are healthy natural teeth left to act as an abutment that will support the bridge. It is also important to know that the more missing teeth you have, the more abutment teeth are needed.

  • Removable Dentures
    Dentures are a common solution to missing teeth. A full denture replaces an entire arch of upper or lower teeth; a partial denture can replace one or several missing teeth.

    Traditional dentures are made to fit the shape and size of your jawbone and match the colour of your remaining natural teeth for a more natural look. They are removable and, therefore, much easier to clean than other treatment options.

    However, it’s important to note that they don’t offer the same level of stability or durability as implants or bridges.

  • Resin-bonded Bridge
    A resin-bonded bridge is a less invasive treatment option for replacing missing teeth. It involves attaching a reinforced fibre material to at least two teeth adjacent to the gap and holding the replacement tooth in place.

    Unlike traditional bridges, which require reshaping and trimming a greater part of healthy teeth, resin-bonded bridges require minimal alteration of existing teeth. This makes them a good option for those who want to preserve their natural teeth. However, resin bridges are not meant to replace several teeth. It can only replace up to two or three teeth at a time.

Final Thoughts

Dental implants are a great way to replace missing teeth. Dental implant placement involves multiple steps and appointments, but its benefits are worth the long process. The procedure incurs little to no pain, which can be managed with the help of pain medications, and your dentist should guide you throughout the recovery. However, as with any surgery, some potential risks and complications should be considered before deciding to have this treatment.

If you are missing one or more teeth, contact Royal Dental Spa today to learn more about whether dental implants are right for you. Our experienced dentists will examine you, tailor a treatment plan to your needs and guide you through the step-by-step procedure of dental implants.

Experience luxury dental care at Royal Dental Spa.

At Royal Dental Spa, we believe that everyone deserves to experience the luxury and comfort of top-quality dental care. Don't wait any longer to experience the royal treatment – book your appointment at Royal Dental Spa today!

Royal Dental Spa