Are you considering a dental implant? Oral surgeons, Dr. Howard Stevenson, Dr. Stephen Fairchild, and Dr. Timothy Surber share this experienced overview of implant placement to help patients in the Valparaiso – Merrillville, IN area feel comfortable with the procedure.
Consultation and planning
This stage is perhaps the most important in the success of implantation and in your satisfaction with tooth implant process. It begins with a comprehensive oral examination and evaluation of bone mass. The doctor learns about your health status and lifestyle as well as your tooth replacement goals. If you are a good candidate for implantation, placement is precisely planned in advance of the procedure, using 3D imaging and computer-guided technologies.
While placement of an implant is an oral surgery, it is brief and minimally-traumatic. The dental implant procedure typically takes an hour or less, with some advanced cases taking extended time.
You may be instructed to start antibiotics prior to surgery. On the day of your appointment you relax with inhaled sedation (nitrous oxide/laughing gas) or a medication administered intravenously. Your mouth is thoroughly numbed with local anesthetic to ensure a comfortable experience.
Then, gum tissue is opened with a small incision. Using special instruments, space is created in the bone, and the implant is inserted. The top of the implant may remain visible, or gum tissue sutured closed over it.
Healing phase in the overview of implant placement
In Valparaiso – Merrillville, IN, discussion of implantation would not be complete without touching on the healing process. Soft tissue healing occurs very quickly in a reasonably healthy patient –within a few days. Thus, the implant healing phase might be more accurately described as osseointegration.
Human bone has the unique ability to fuse with the biologically-friendly material of the dental implant. This osseointegration period varies, depending on the quantity and quality of bone at the implant site, but generally the implant is solidly anchored within a few months.
Following implant placement, a healing abutment (cap) is placed on the implant. This may be done at the time of placement or after completion of integration. This piece serves to shape the soft tissue to prepare for the crown. The restoration is finished with a porcelain crown that looks, feels, and functions like a natural tooth. Restoration of an implant secured bridge or denture is similar, but multiple implants are involved. Your general dentist completes the restoration portion of the procedure.
Are you ready for more detail on implant placement than this overview provides? Call Stevenson, Fairchild & Surber OMS at (219) 307-4382 to schedule a consultation in Valparaiso – Merrillville, IN.