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How Does a Dentist Place a Dental Implant in the Patient’s Mouth?
A dental implant is a type of artificial tooth replacement that restores the root and crown of a missing tooth. Tooth implants provide better dental function and look more appealing than conventional replacements such as bridges and dentures. The implant placement is handled by a professional dentist and done in different stages. Continue reading to find out how the dentist performs the procedure.
Placing the dental implant
The dentist handling the treatment chooses the implants to use, how many to use and their positions. Most dental implant placement requires two steps, but newer implants can be completed in a single procedure. Below is a description of the two-step process:
When the patient visits the dental office, they may be given antibiotics and pain relievers. The dentist will use local anesthesia but may provide sedation upon request. The sedation is administered via an oral or intravenous line. The surgery starts once the anesthesia kicks in.
To place the implant, the dentist creates an incision on the gums to reveal the bone. Afterward, they create a hole in the bone and insert the implant. The dentist may take an x-ray of the area to serve as a guide when placing the implants. The gum is then stitched shut over the implant. The duration of the procedure depends on the number of implants and if a bone graft is necessary.
Most times, placing one dental implant takes less than an hour. The patient may feel some pain after the surgery. The degree of pain depends on the patient, but it is usually relatively mild. For front-row teeth replacement, the dentist may offer a temporary denture or bridge so that the patient will not be without teeth. Such options are discussed during the initial consultation.
After the treatment, the dentist provides aftercare instructions to ensure successful osseointegration. The patient generally has to wait for several months for the implant to fuse with the jawbone. After this process is complete, the patient is ready for the second stage of the process.
For the second procedure, the dentist makes an incision over the gum to expose the implant. The protective screw on the implant is replaced with a metal healing cap. This guides the gum to heal correctly around the implant. Healing may take between two to three weeks, after which the final dental restoration is ready.
In rare cases where the implants fail to fuse properly with the bone, the dentist replaces the previous implants with slightly wider ones or removes the implants and performs bone grafting before reattempting surgery. Some dentists now use single-stage implants as well. The implants are inserted into the jaw and left exposed in the mouth so that a second procedure is not necessary.
Dental implant placement is the first and most important step toward restoring a missing tooth. The dentist will guide you through the process and provide instructions on how to make the procedure as stress-free as possible.
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