Dental implants are one of the best solutions if you are missing one or multiple teeth. Implants can replace a single missing tooth or can be used as a bridge anchor to replace multiple missing teeth to achieve a complete smile. If you are already considering dental implants, you must know the 5-step procedure performed by your Edmonton dentist to put it in place.
Step 1: Evaluation of Mouth
The Edmonton dentist will first evaluate and examine the condition of your jaw bone and deduce if dental implants can be inserted into your mouth or not. She will take an X-ray of your mouth to find if there’s enough bone to hold the implant securely. On the basis of the X-ray, your dentist will proceed with the procedure or suggest the other possible treatment.
Step 2: Anesthesia Application
The first step of dental implant procedure is that your Edmonton dentist will give a general anesthesia to numb the area to prepare it for the surgery. Local anesthesia application will not only prevent you from experiencing pain but will also reduce your dental anxiety.
Step 3: Positioning the Implant
Whether you have undergone bone grafting or not, your dentist will start the actual process by positioning the implant in place. She will drill a pilot hole half-way in the bone of the implant site. An alignment pin will be used to ensure the hole is at the right depth and angle to fit the implant screw.
Step 4: Screwing the Implant
After ensuring that the hole is at the right place, depth, and angle, your dentist will then further drill the pilot hole. The implant site will be sprayed continuously with either water or a saline solution to prevent contamination and to prevent the bone from overheating during the drilling process. Implant screw is then fitted in the hole. Once the implant is screwed into place, a special collar, or ‘implant cap’ is used to seal the implant to protect the area and let it heal.
Step 5: Abutment Attachment
The gum healing time can vary from 7 to 10 days. During this healing process, the stitches or absorbable sutures will break down with the help of your saliva, and the bone cells will affix themselves to the implant. This process is also known as osseointegration. When the area has healed, and the implant has bonded to the jawbone, another surgery will be needed to attach the abutment, an artificial tooth structure. Your dentist will re-open your gum around the implant, remove the implant cap, attach an abutment and form the tissue around it.
After a week or two, your Edmonton dentist will attach a crown or bridge, depending on your oral condition. A proper oral care and hygiene and consumption of soft foods are necessary for the first few days to keep your surgical area safe and allow the healing process. You can talk to your Edmonton dentist about post-implant care and diet.