There are few things in life as daunting as surgery. If you’ve recently gotten a confirmation from your dentist’s office for oral surgery, you may be scared out of your wits on what to expect further. Oral surgery, no matter how minor can sound awfully intimidating but is actually a fairly common procedure, associated with different dental treatments and applications.
There are multiple conditions that can require treatment through surgery such as addressing problems that many experiences, such as impacted wisdom teeth, sleep apnea, or tooth loss. Since these procedures are commonplace, today’s innovative dental practices allow you, the patient, to feel safe and comfortable while underground such procedures.
Dental implant surgery is a much sought-after dental procedure that has helped millions of people around the world achieve a flawless smile. After initially assessing you and deducing you eligible for receiving the implant, you’ll undergo long-term treatment for the same.
WHAT IS DENTAL IMPLANT SURGERY?
Dental implant surgery is an oral procedure that aims to replace missing, grossly decayed, or heavily diseased teeth with metal, screw-like posts loaded with an artificial crown that looks, feels, and functions much like real ones. Dental implant placement and positioning are crucial for the success of the dental implant.
Since it is an invasive dental procedure, only experienced dental professionals or oral surgeons are required to perform the surgical process with precision and explicit detail. In the modern world, dental implants are quickly replacing older dental devices like dentures and bridgework that, often, don’t fit well and require timely renewal.
HOW IS A DENTAL IMPLANT SURGERY PERFORMED?
The crux of how a dental implant surgery is performed depends on the type of implant to be used and the condition of your jawbone. Dental implant surgery may involve several procedures done in increments to allow bone ingrowth and healing. Because of this, the process can take several months to complete.
Here we guide you through the various dental implant surgery steps and what you can expect.
Your dentist or oral surgeon will begin by taking a comprehensive examination of your mouth and teeth in order to determine the condition of your jawbone and whether additional procedures may be needed to accommodate the new implant. The initial evaluation includes X-rays, taking impressions, and color-matching the artificial tooth to your natural ones using a shade guide.
This is also the time when your oral surgeon discusses with you the type of dental implant most suited for you and if you will be required to see other dental specialists, like periodontists, to resolve any underlying gum infections that can pose a threat to the success of the implants later on. Any medications and medical conditions will also be a topic of discussion in the initial exam. Depending on your condition, you may be required to take antibiotics before the surgery to prevent infection.
Tooth extraction (if needed)
Dental implants are brilliant tooth replacement alternatives that promote healthy and fully functioning teeth. If you still have a remaining tooth that is diseased and needs replacing, your dentist will begin by removing it before the restorative dental work is performed. This can be done on the same day as the implant insertion.
Your dentist will most likely use a local anesthetic of novocaine or lidocaine to numb the surgery site and the neighboring tissues. You’ll initially feel a slight tug and light pressure when the tooth is being extracted. Typically after the extraction, you are given strict instructions to help with the healing like avoiding smoking, excessive spitting, and hot or hard foods.
Inserting the dental implant and bone grafting (if needed)
According to the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP), there are two major types of dental implants: one where the implant is inserted into your jawbone (called the endosteal implant) and the other that goes directly under the gumline (called the subperiosteal implant). Since ‘in the bone’ implants are more common, we’ll be discussing them in detail.
One of the easiest requirements for the success of dental implants is the adequate bone material that is needed to support the dental implant. In cases where your jaw needs some extra bone, this bone will be grafted from another area of your jaw away from the implant area. Once the bone heals, the oral surgeon drills a hole in your jawbone and secures the implant in place.
Today’s dental implants are virtually indistinguishable from other teeth. This is aided in part by the structural and functional connection between the implant and the living bone. The procedure of establishing a connection between your implant and natural bone is known as osseointegration and usually takes anywhere from six weeks to six months to anchor and heal.
Once your implant is stable enough, your dentist will place an abutment on top of the implant. An abutment serves as a connector that attaches the implant to your artificial crown and needs to be tightened in order to withstand biting and chewing forces. You will receive local anesthesia in that area and you’ll only feel slight pressure during this procedure.
Adding the permanent crown
After your gums have healed, your dentist will design an artificial crown for you using an impression of your mouth. The dental crown is then placed.