What is the Dental Implant Process?
Dental implants at Karmazin Dental are accessories, preferably made of chemically pure titanium, which act as artificial roots replacing missing or lost teeth for any reason, capable of integrating in a healthy and totally natural way with the rest of the tissues of the mouth.
On each implant, the crown or dental prosthesis will be seated and in it we can distinguish, similar to the natural tooth:
- Dental implant (portion that remains under the gum)
- Transepithelial abutment (portion of the implant that emerges in the mouth)
- Crown or prosthesis (which covers the abutment and is noticeable in the mouth)
Dental implant placement process
The first information about implants is provided by the dentist, after its study, the collaboration of other professionals with special knowledge of periodontics, prosthetics or other areas of dentistry and medicine is often needed.
The group of professionals who intervene to restore your oral health through dental implant treatments is known as "The Implantology Team".
The complete process surrounding the placement of implants usually includes:
- Initial phase of study and planning
- One or several actions during the surgical phase
- Restorative or prosthetic phase
- Maintenance phase
The initial phase of your implant experience will be planning and examinations. Your dentist will take a complete medical history for you. During this time, it is important to note any medications you are taking, any chronic or acute illnesses you might have, and bring up any of your concerns about your oral and physical health with your dentist. Your dentist will also take images and X-rays of your mouth and the area around where they want to place the implant. This step will ensure that you have enough bone left in your jaw to support and maintain an implant, which will be placed directly into your jawbone.
Once you and your dentist and/or oral surgeon decide on a care and surgery plan, you will move into the surgery phase. Depending on your needs and individual situation, the surgery part of the implant is done in either one or two stages, with one stage becoming more and more common.
If the surgical procedure is carried out in two phases, the implant is inserted in the first phase, leaving it completely covered by the gums for a variable period of time, approximately 2-3 months. In the second phase, a small incision is made in the gum to check the good condition of the implant and to connect the abutment that remains in contact with the oral environment and will serve as a union for the future prosthesis.
When the implant is placed in a single surgical stage, which today is performed more and more frequently, the fixation or implant is installed and at the same time a connection component that remains in contact with the oral environment, called a transepithelial or healing abutment, thus avoiding the aforementioned second phase and the need for surgery after the placement of the implants.
The length of the waiting period will depend on each patient. Once the surgery is complete, there is little to do but wait for it to heal. It is very important in this phase to make sure you follow your surgeon’s instructions for care very closely and to maintain your oral hygiene. Generally, healing takes anywhere from 2-3 months, but can take longer, depending on the patient.
During this phase, your dentist might offer the placement of a temporary prosthetic tooth, which will not only serve aesthetic purposes, but will help condition your implant to start bearing a chewing load so that it is ready for the final prosthesis.
Restorative or prosthetic phase
This phase is when your implant has healed enough for the final permanent prosthetic tooth to be placed on the implant. This final tooth or teeth will match your natural teeth in transparency, color, and function and will be impossible to spot amongst your natural teeth.
The maintenance phase will last the duration of your implant. It is important to refrain from smoking and/or tobacco use after you have had an implant, as it could shorten the lifespan of your implant. It is also important to continue excellent personal oral hygiene practices and see your dentist for professional cleanings. If you take good care of your implant, it can last a very long time, upwards of 20 years.