Dental Implants Process

What to expect during your tooth implant procedure

An implant evaluation is the first step in determining if a patient is a candidate for dental implants based on his/her oral condition and health history. Very rarely is an individual not able to have dental implants. Dr. Paulson or Dr. Ramirez completes a thorough evaluation, discusses treatment options, may recommend further diagnostic imaging, and prepares an individualized treatment plan.

Bone grafting and Sinus Grafting

One of the keys to implant success is having high-quality and quantity of bone where the implant(s) will be placed. For some, an implant can be placed at the same time as removal. If bone has been lost from a previous extraction or periodontal disease, there is a likelihood the site is deficient in bone. Another area of concern is the upper molar area where the sinus membrane is in close proximity to the jawbone. In cases of insufficient bone or sinus membrane interference, bone grafting and regeneration will be necessary. Anatomy can vary with each patient and for certain cases, a sinus graft or bone graft can be done at the same time of implant placement. Once bone grafting, also known as sinus lift/augmentation or ridge grafting/augmentation, is completed, the area will need appropriate healing and integration time. Bone grafting procedures are completed in the office using a local anesthetic. Patients are comfortable during the entire appointment and experience minimal discomfort following the procedure. After a healing period of 3-6 months, depending on the type of bone graft, a radiograph or 3-D scan will be completed to verify the quality and quantity of bone prior to proceeding with implant placement.

Implant Placement

The dental implant procedure is completed in the office using local anesthetic. Patients are comfortable during the entire appointment and experience minimal discomfort following the procedure. The dental implant is a threaded titanium post (root form) which is placed into the jawbone. Titanium is the metal of choice for dental implants because it is biocompatible and fuses well with living bone. During healing time of 3-4 months, a temporary replacement option can be used if desired. After appropriate healing and integration of the implants has taken place, your dentist can attach an abutment (extension) to the implant. The abutment is a small metal post that will be the foundation of your crown, bridge, or denture. The finishing step is having your dentist complete the restoration. Throughout the entire implant process, we will work as a team with your general dentist and communicate regularly. No matter the simplicity or complexity of your case, the difference is amazing!

While dental implants have no risk of developing cavities, they are still susceptible to periodontal (gum) disease. It is very important to keep the bone and tissue healthy around the implant by daily brushing and flossing. Along with good oral hygiene, visit your dental professional for regular cleanings and exams. With proper maintenance and home care, implants can last a lifetime.