If you’ve been considering full mouth dental implants to restore your smile, you may be wondering what to expect during the procedure. A dental implant is one of the most advanced solutions for replacing missing teeth, and can provide you with a fully functional and beautiful smile for years to come.
From understanding the types of implants available to learning the timeline, this guide will provide you with an overview of the procedure. With a better understanding of the process, you can be confident that you’re making the right choice for your oral health and overall well-being.
Overview of the Procedure
Dental implants are a surgical procedure that involves placing artificial teeth into your jawbone. First, your oral health provider will surgically prepare your gums and jawbone to receive the implant, and place a porous scaffold in the area. Then, an implant is surgically placed into your jawbone, and the scaffold is removed. Following this, your provider will place a healing cap over the implant, and a healing period of up to three months begins. Once your gums and jawbone have healed, your oral health provider will place an abutment on the implant, followed by a restoration, such as a crown, bridge, or dental partial. With this procedure, you will receive one implant for a missing tooth, although some patients may choose to receive more to enhance their smile.
The timeline for the implant procedure will depend on a number of factors, including the state of your gums and jawbone, as well as your overall health. You’ll have the complete mouth dental implants as soon as possible if you adhere to the preparation instructions and follow the advice of your oral health professional.
Step 1 - Initial Consultation and X-rays
The first step to receiving the care you need is scheduling a consultation with a skilled and experienced oral health provider. During the consultation, your dentist will discuss your needs and goals, and perform a comprehensive oral exam and x-rays to gain a better understanding of your current oral health and the state of your gums and jawbone.
Your x-rays will help identify any existing dental issues, such as missing teeth, as well as the state of your jawbone and the gums surrounding your teeth and gums. It will provide your provider with critical information which will be important in determining if you are a good candidate for implants.
Step 2 - Preparation
In addition to a thorough dental exam and x-rays, your oral health provider may recommend additional dental care before receiving the implant procedure. If your gums are inflamed because of gum disease, you may be prescribed antibiotics to reduce the risk of infection. Certain medications, such as blood thinners, may increase your risk of bleeding, so you may be prescribed an anticoagulant to reduce your risk of bleeding during the implant procedure.
Once your medications have been prescribed, you will need to schedule a follow-up appointment to ensure that your condition has improved enough to receive the procedure. Your provider will also discuss any dietary changes that are necessary before the procedure.
Step 3 - The Implant Placement
The dental implant procedure begins with the placement of the first implant and ends with the placement of the final restoration. During the procedure, your dentist will make a small incision in your gums to gain access to the underlying bone. Then, he or she will use a dental drill to place an implant into the bone and secure it in place. Your dentist will utilize the same incision made to install the first implant to place and secure a second implant on the other side of your mouth.
Step 4 - Osseointegration and Abutment Placement
Following successful osseointegration, your oral health provider will place an abutment on each implant to allow a healing cap to be placed. The healing cap will protect the implant while your gums and jawbone heal around it. Depending on the type of implant you receive, you may receive two healing caps or one healing cap with two openings. The healing cap must remain in place for a minimum of three months, and you will be required to follow a strict aftercare regimen during this time.
Step 5 - Final Restoration
After the healing period, your oral health provider will remove the healing cap and place a restoration on the implant. The type of restoration you receive will depend on the original reason for the procedure. For instance, if you need a dental implant to replace a missing tooth, your provider will place either a crown, a bridge, or a partial denture on the implant.
These restorations will allow you to eat and speak normally, while providing you with the dental support you need to maintain a healthy, natural-looking smile.
Conclusion: Aftercare and Maintenance
Once the dental procedure is complete, you will need to follow a strict aftercare regimen for at least three months. And depending on the health of your gums and jawbone, you may need to extend the aftercare period. During this time, you will need to practice optimal oral hygiene and avoid any activities that may disrupt the healing process. If you experience gingival swelling or irritation, or if your mouth has excessive bleeding, you may need to extend the aftercare period by one or two weeks. Following a strict maintenance schedule can help you retain the benefits of full mouth dental implants for years to come.
Whether you’ve recently lost a tooth or have been living with a less-than-ideal set of teeth for years, dental implants can help you get the smile you’ve always wanted. This dental procedure is a complex process, but it’s one that can result in beautiful, long-lasting teeth – and a perfect smile! Contact us today for your initial consultation!