A Step-by-Step Guide to the Dental Implant Procedure

If you’ve been thinking about replacing one, several or all of your teeth, dental implants are the healthiest, most natural-looking solution. A dental implant is a small, titanium screw that acts like your tooth’s root, providing a stable foundation for a dental crown or bridge. Because the implant fuses with the jawbone, it can last a lifetime.

What does the process entail? In this post, our Austell implant dentists will be covering the different steps in the dental implant procedure.

Does Getting a Dental Implant Hurt?

Before we dive into the dental implant procedure, we thought we’d get a common question out of the way: Does getting a dental implant hurt? No, during dental implant surgery, you’ll be numb, so the only thing you’ll feel is some pressure. If you decide to get sedation, you may not even remember much of it at all.

After dental implant surgery, there can be mild swelling and discomfort. This can be managed by sticking with soft foods for a few days, applying ice to the treatment area and taking an over-the-counter or prescribed pain reliever as needed.

The Process of Getting a Dental Implant

1. Consultation

The first step in the dental implant process is a consultation. At this initial visit, you’ll meet with one of our Austell implant dentists. They’ll perform an exam and assess your teeth, gums and bone using a panoramic scan.

The dentist will provide personalized treatment recommendations and work with you to create a treatment plan. They’ll explain the steps in the dental implant procedure in-depth and answer any questions you have. Before you leave, we’ll also review the dental implant cost, your insurance coverage and our interest-free financing options.

2. Extraction and Bone Grafting, if Needed

As the destination for dental implants in Austell, we’re able to handle the entire implant process in-house. Instead of referring you out for each procedure, we can be an all-in-one solution, including performing extractions and bone grafts, if needed.

Not every patient requires bone grafting. But if you’ve experienced bone loss from having a missing tooth, oral health issues or conditions like osteoporosis, especially in the upper jaw, a bone graft could be indicated, as there has to be enough quantity and quality of bone to support the implant.

During the procedure, your dentist places bone grafting material in the empty tooth socket. The graft acts like a scaffold around which new bone grows. Once the graft has healed, generally in about three to six months, it will be time for dental implant placement.

3. Dental Implant Surgery

Prior to your dental implant surgery, we’ll take digital scans of your tooth, or teeth, and create a 3D-printed surgical guide. Using the guide and x-ray guidance, we can minimize trauma and reduce the likelihood of complications, while also supporting a faster, easier recovery.

How long does the dental implant procedure take? Depending on the number of teeth and your specific case, it usually lasts an hour or two. If you choose sedation, we’ll administer that first. Then, the dentist will numb the treatment area.

Using the surgical guide, they’ll place the implant in your jawbone, taking x-rays throughout the process for maximum accuracy. While each case is unique, we’ll likely also attach a healing abutment, or healing cap, to your implant at this stage. The healing abutment protects the implant and helps shape the gums around it.

Don’t worry, you won’t have to go without a tooth for the duration. Your dentist will place a complimentary temporary crown as well.

When your implant surgery is complete, we’ll monitor you for a little while before releasing you. If you were sedated, an adult will need to drive you home.

4. Healing

After dental implant surgery, you may have minor swelling and soreness for a few days. You can hold ice on your face in the treatment area for 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off during the first 24 hours. You can also take an over-the-counter pain reliever as needed or prescribed medication, if applicable.

We’ll provide you with detailed post-operative instructions. Be sure to follow them closely for optimal dental implant healing. Once we give you the go-ahead, it’s extremely important to brush and floss diligently.

Over time, the implant fuses with the jawbone, a process called osseointegration. When your dentist has determined your dental implant is securely healed in place, you’ll receive your final dental crown or bridge. It takes two to three months from implant to crown.

5. Final Restoration

Your dentist will use your digital scans to design a dental crown or bridge. Your restoration will be fabricated to look just like a natural tooth, down to the way it reflects light.

When the dental implant healing period is finished, the dentist will remove the healing cap, replace it with an abutment and attach the crown or bridge to the abutment(s). From there, caring for your implants is easy. Simply brush and floss as you normally do and continue to visit the dentist for a checkup and cleaning every six months.

Schedule a complimentary dental implant consultation at Austell Dental Excellence

Reap the benefits of dental implants and smile with confidence again! To get started, call Austell Dental Excellence at (678) 672-6321 to book a consultation with an expert dentist.

Uncertain about another practice’s treatment plan? We also offer free second opinions on dental implants.

3845 Medical Park Dr
Austell, GA 30106
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