Dental Implant Placement
Dental implants are a modern, popular treatment for replacing missing teeth. This treatment provides an alternative to bridges and dentures. It is a unique treatment that involves the surgical implantation of titanium posts into your jawbone to support the ceramic crowns that replace your teeth. The posts stabilize within your jaw in a process known as osseointegration. This is the process in which your bone fuses to the posts. Dental implants provide some significant benefits above and beyond restoring basic functions of your missing teeth. They are more comfortable, easier to care for and help to preserve the health and integrity of your jawbone. We are proud to offer dental implants at Simon K. Choyee, DDS, Inc. to meet a wide array of different tooth replacement needs. Here is what you can expect during treatment.
Your Initial Consultation
Before undergoing implant surgery, an initial consultation is needed to determine if dental implants are the right solution for you. During your consultation, we ask about your medical history as well as your lifestyle habits such as smoking and drinking. We perform a thorough examination of your mouth, looking over the visible structures as well as taking digital X-rays. X-rays help us to see bone loss in your jaw, as well as other potential issues, and determine the best placement for your dental implants.
The Day of Surgery
Dental implants involve a surgical procedure. On the day of your surgery, you receive a local anesthetic, which ensures that you do not feel any pain. We can also provide you with sedation as well, which can help you to relax and remain comfortable. Your options for sedation are discussed during your initial consultation.
Surgery begins with incisions in the gums to expose your jawbone. Next, we drill holes into your jawbone according to your treatment plan. The implants are placed into the holes, and your gums are sutured closed around them. A small portion is left exposed above the gum line. Temporary teeth are affixed to your implants, and you can go home to begin healing.
Recovery After Surgery
The exact length of time it takes you to fully recover after implant surgery depends on several factors. Typically, it can take several weeks to several months to complete. During this time, your bone begins to fuse to the implant posts, gradually integrating them into the jaw. Eventually, they stabilize and will be used to provide secure support for your final restorations. Follow up visits are scheduled to ensure that healing is occurring properly.
As you heal, you may experience some pain and swelling. These are both normal. Pain can often be managed with over the counter pain relievers, although we can provide you with a prescription for stronger pain relief if needed. Swelling can be managed with ice during the first 24 hours, and moist heat after 48 hours. It is also important to maintain a soft foods diet and limit activities during the early stages of healing. As you begin to feel better, you can slowly resume your normal diet and activity level.
The Final Implant Restorations
Once you have fully healed from surgery, the process for placing your final restorations begins. This process generally takes two appointments. At the first appointment, we remove the temporary restorations and place the abutments. Impressions of your mouth are taken. These impressions are sent to our lab where your restorations are made. At your second appointment, we check your restorations for fit, appearance, and bite before screwing them into place.
If you are missing teeth, dental implants may be the solution for you. For more information, and to find out if you are a candidate, call Simon K. Choyee, DDS, Inc. at (562) 947-4781 today to schedule your consultation.