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dental implant process step by step sydney

The Dental Implant Process Step By Step – Know What to Expect

More people than ever are choosing to restore their smiles with dental implants. In fact, recent statistics state that the number of people getting a dental implant increases by 500,000 annually

Why are they so popular?

Dental implants provide a permanent solution to missing teeth, and because they’re inserted into the jawbone, they feel and function just like natural teeth. Furthermore, retrospective studies have shown a 10-year survival rate of 98.80% and a success rate of 97.0% in patients with good oral health, which makes dental implants a cost-effective solution in the long term.

If you’re missing one or more teeth or facing tooth extraction, then perhaps you’re considering dental implants to close the gaps and make your smile whole again. If so, you may be wondering what’s involved in the procedure. Well, don’t worry. Carry on reading, and we’ll walk you step by step through the dental implant process. By the time you reach the end of our guide, you should know all you need to.

The dental implant process – A step by step guide

First, you should know that the dental implant procedure consists of many steps carried out by your dentist over several months (although there are some exceptions). We will look at each step in more detail, explaining what it entails and how it works.

Step one – Tooth extraction (optional)

Dental implants are small metal cylinders or posts that replace a missing tooth’s root. They are inserted into the empty socket and eventually support an artificial tooth or dental crown. If you have already lost a tooth, the socket will be empty, but if your dentist is replacing a damaged or heavily decayed tooth with an implant, the first step of the dental implant process will be tooth extraction. 

Specific dental treatments like all-on-4- dental implants enable a patient to have their damaged teeth extracted and replaced with a single arch of teeth on the same day. But typically, following a tooth extraction, a dentist would wait for the site to heal fully before moving forward with dental implant treatment. 

Step two – Preparing the jawbone (optional)

Dental implants are inserted into the jawbone and look and function just like natural teeth. And, like natural teeth, they need bone for support.

dental implant procedure step by step sydneyUnfortunately, when teeth are lost, the bone resorbs into the body, and if teeth are missing for any length of time, inevitably, the jawbone shrinks. As a result, a bone graft is often needed to regenerate additional bone cells to increase the width and density of the jawbone in the area receiving the implant.

Bone grafting is a simple but essential requirement for many patients receiving dental implants, but it will add cost and time to the overall dental implant procedure. 

Of course, if you don’t need a tooth extraction and you haven’t suffered any bone loss, you can ignore step one and step two of our dental implant process guide and carry on to step 3 – dental implant placement. 

Step three – Implant surgery

Sometimes, fear of dental implant surgery is the hurdle that prevents people from having dental implants. But it needn’t be. Thanks to 3D computer imaging, meticulous virtual planning and modern surgical techniques, dental implant placement is fast (often under an hour depending on the case’s complexity), accurate and carried out as outpatient treatment. 

Many dentists provide sedation alongside local anaesthesia, so patients have very little recollection of the surgery in many instances. 

Step 4 – Recovery and healing

Once the dental implants have been inserted into the jawbone, it’s a case of waiting several weeks for the surgical site to heal and the bone to fuse with the implant in a process known as osseointegration. This is the most critical step of the dental implant process and a step that can’t be rushed. For some patients, osseointegration may take just a few weeks, and for others, it can take several weeks. Factors like smoking have been shown to significantly increase the risk of dental implant failure, so if you are a smoker, you would be well advised to quit the habit. 

Osseointegration occurs when the bone and soft tissues surrounding the dental implant fuse together to create a strong foundation that can support a dental crown, bridge, or denture and the bite force associated with it. 

Step 5 – Fitting the abutment

Once bone fusion has occurred and the dental implant has stabilised, the next step is to fit the abutment. This tiny connector joins the prosthesis (dental crown) to the implant post. The process involves another short surgery, although, in some instances, the abutment is connected during the initial implant surgery.

Step 6 – Completing the restoration

The final step of the dental implant process is to fit the dental crown (although in the case of several missing teeth and implants, it may be a bridge or denture that the dentist attaches to complete the restoration). The dental crown is tried on for size and cemented firmly in place. Because it has been colour-matched with the surrounding teeth, it fits seamlessly into the smile. All that’s left to do is to admire your brand new smile. 

So, there you have it – the end of our dental implant process step by step guide. Hopefully, this has given you a better understanding of what’s involved when getting dental implants and what to expect, should you choose this option of tooth replacement.

Want to know more?

If you have further questions about dental implants or would like to know if you are a suitable candidate for the procedure, please get in touch with No Gaps Dental. 

We’re meticulous about infection control and ensure that all our clinics are clean and well-stocked with hand sanitiser. Using hand sanitiser before and after dental implant surgery is critical to avoid spreading Covid 19. Our hand sanitiser contains 60% ethanol and 70% isopropanol, effectively killing many airborne viruses. 

Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.

References:

Statistics Data Base.com – Implant Dentistry Statistics For 2020

 PubMed.Gov10-year survival and success rates of 511 titanium implants with a sandblasted and acid-etched surface: a retrospective study in 303 partially edentulous patients

 MDPI.com – Smoking and dental implants – a systematic review and meta-analysis

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