We recently shared a brief introduction to dental implants, to help patients understand what dental implants are, and whether or not they may be a good candidate for them. However, many patients wonder what the actual placement process is like for a dental implant. Today, we’re going to detail the common dental implant procedure steps, including preparation for the procedure, as well as healing and recovery. Read on to learn more about how Dr. Richard L. Rodgers and other dentists approach dental implant treatment in the Atlanta, GA area.
Dental implants are extremely effective and safe at restoring lost teeth. But before seeking dental implant treatment, make sure you are comfortable with your dental provider. Dr. Rodgers has over 30 years of experience in dental restoration, and has completed advanced graduate level training through the highly-regarded Kois Center. If you are looking for a skilled, experienced restorative dentist in the Atlanta, GA area, look no further than Dr. Rodgers.
Placing dental implants looks a little different for each patient. Before any dental implant procedure begins, Dr. Rodgers performs a thorough examination to ensure the jaw bone is strong enough to receive a dental implant, and no present infection or inflammation will impede the healing process. Additionally, if a damaged tooth is still intact, Dr. Rodgers will perform a dental extraction. If the jaw bone in the affected area has experienced bone loss, a bone graft may be required before the implant placement procedure can take place.
Bone grafting may sound scary, but it’s actually considered a minimally invasive procedure. With the latest technology and treatment techniques, Dr. Rodgers can restore bone loss in the jaw at our Atlanta dental practice. For patients who undergo bone grafting, an additional recovery period is needed after the procedure to allow the jaw to heal and strengthen before the implant is placed. This usually lasts several months, but varies from patient to patient.
On the day of your procedure, a local anesthetic will be given to numb the gums and jawbone. Oral sedatives or other sedative medications, such as nitrous oxide (“laughing gas”) may be administered. These will reduce feelings or anxiety or restlessness during the procedure, and can immensely help patients who suffer from dental phobia.
Once numbed, Dr. Rodgers will make an incision in the gum line and insert the small titanium implant firmly into the jaw. One implant takes about an hour to place. Dr. Rodgers may stitch up part of the incision site, and a temporary crown could be placed the day of implant placement.
After the procedure is completed, your mouth will require a several month healing period. This is because a unique biological process called osseointegration occurs. Osseointegration is the process of your jaw bone tissues accepting the titanium implant and actually developing around it, strengthening its hold and creating a natural bond between the restoration and your jaw. During this process, the implants will become an integral part of your jawbone.
Once you have healed, a minor procedure will be required to attach abutments to the top of each implant. These small “caps” provide a solid base for restorations to firmly attach to the implant. During this step, impressions or 3D images will also be taken and sent to a lab where technicians will fabricate your restoration. When the restoration is complete, your new crown, dentures, or bridge will be affixed to the abutments to restore a full smile.
If you have experienced tooth loss and want to restore a full, natural-looking smile, contact our practice to schedule a restorative dentistry consultation. Dr. Richard Rodgers offers dental implants for a stable bite and beautiful smile. Learn more by calling us at 404.577.6620.