Dental implants are an excellent treatment option for patients that are missing their teeth. Depending on the number of teeth that are missing, a single dental implant may be used, or a combination of implants and dental bridges can be used to fill in the gaps. At our Memphis cosmetic dentistry practice, we offer dental implants and other tooth replacement options. In this blog post, we review the dental implants treatment process timeline so our patients can decide if this treatment is right for them.
To begin the dental implant treatment process, you will need to come into our office for a dental exam. During your exam, one of our experienced implant dentists will listen to your concerns and examine your teeth and gums to determine the best course of treatment. We will want to replace the missing tooth or teeth as soon as possible to avoid additional dental problems, including:
- Shifting of the teeth
- Tooth crowding
- Large gaps between the teeth
- Misalignment of the bite
- Gum recession
- Bone loss
- Problems chewing food
- Loss of facial integrity
Patients that are interested in tooth replacement have the following options available to them:
- Dentures: Dentures are often the least costly option. However, many patients feel they do not offer the stability of dental implants and bridges.
- Dental bridges: Dental bridges consist of one or two artificial teeth that are attached to dental crowns or implants.
- Dental implants: Dental implants require a more involved treatment process, but these restorations look and act the most like natural teeth.
Patients that are interested in replacing their missing teeth with dental implants must have sufficient gum tissue and bone in the jaw to support the implant. If we determine that you are a good candidate for dental implants, we will schedule your first dental implant treatment, the oral surgery appointment, at your earliest convenience.
The first step in the dental implant treatment process is oral surgery; during surgery, an incision is made and the dental implant anchor, or post, is placed in the jaw. You may be put under local or general anesthesia for surgery. Once the post has been properly positioned, the incision is closed, and you will be sent home with healing instructions.
Healing and Osseointegration
Once the implant post has been placed in the jaw, the surrounding bone and gum tissue needs time to grow around it. This will anchor the post into place. This process, which is called osseointegration, takes four to six months to complete. During this time you may be fit with temporary dentures.
Placement of the Restoration
Once the implant post is secured in place, the permanent tooth restoration, or tooth crown, can be placed. You will return to our office for a simple appointment in which we will attach your custom artificial tooth to the implant post.
Our Memphis dental implant patients are thrilled with the results of their treatment. To find out if implant dentistry is right for you, contact Southern Dental Implant Center today. We will be happy to schedule your personal consultation with a member of our team.