The Process

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There are many reasons to go with Dental Implants. Circumstances and certain conditions may make dental implants the best option. These options include
  • Having more than one missing tooth
  • Having ample amounts of bone to secure the implant
  • Having healthy oral tissues
  • Having a jawbone that has reached full growth
  • Being unable or unwilling to wear dentures
  • Being able and willing to commit several months to complete the process

Unlike traditional dentures and bridgework, dental implants do not cause any damage to the bone. Additionally, all of the material used for dental implants are safe and do not cause any decay.

A comprehensive dental exam and evaluation is required before the procedure can take place. This will include dental x-rays and taking a mold of the mouth to make a model of the mouth.

Dental implant surgery is generally performed as an outpatient procedure. It is performed in a dental office or in a hospital where the implant is surgically in the jaw with the top of the implant just above the top of the bone. Generally 3 to 6 months is required for the bone to grow firmly around the dental implant. Some individuals will require a bone graft surgery prior to having dental implant surgery. This is common in individuals who have a jawbone that is too soft or is not thick enough to sustain the implant. During a bone graft, a piece of bone is taken from a different part of the jaw or another part of the body and is transplanted to the jawbone.

It is important to speak with your doctor about any underlying medical conditions you have and to list all of the medications, both prescription and over the counter that you are taking, as well as any herbal or natural supplements. Individuals with certain heart conditions and those with orthopedic implants may have to undergo antibiotic treatment prior to having the surgery.

Immediately after surgery you will be given specific instructions to assure the best possible healing. In addition you may be prescribed pain medication and , in some cases, antibiotics to aid in the healing process and help alleviate any discomfort. The amount of surgeries required is very specific to the individual and varies accordingly.  You will be instructed to eat only soft foods for up to one week.

Once the jawbone has firmly healed around the implant, a small post or abutment is attached to the implant which protrudes through the gum line and a replacement tooth or dentures are firmly attached to the posts

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