How Is Dental Implant Surgery Performed?

Dental implants are the most natural-looking replacement option for missing teeth. Unfortunately, some people neglect to take advantage of these excellent tooth replacements due to concerns about the surgical process of installing dental implants. Here is an explanation of how dental implant surgery is performed so you know exactly what to expect if you choose to have dental implants installed.

Screw Insertion

The first stage of dental implant surgery is the installation of a small titanium screw in the jawbone. This screw will anchor the implant in place much like roots do for natural teeth. After numbing the area, making an incision in the gums, and drilling the screw into place, the oral surgeon will stitch the gums closed over the screw to protect it while it heals and fuses with the jawbone.

Abutment and Temporary Crown Placement

Your dentist will schedule a follow up appointment after the implant screw has had five to six months to heal. During this visit, the gum is reopened above the implant so that the surgeon can verify that the screw fused with the jawbone properly. The surgeon will next attach a metal abutment to the top of the screw that will hold the implant crowns.

The dentist will make a mold of your teeth so that he can create an implant crown that fits your mouth properly and is identical to a natural tooth. A temporary crown made of aluminum or dental composite is created from this mold and attached to the abutment with temporary dental cement. The temporary crown will protect the abutment from damage until the permanent crown can be placed.

Permanent Crown Installation

The last stage of dental implant surgery will be performed in another follow up visit after you have had the temporary crown for two to five weeks. During this time, the dentist will create a permanent porcelain or ceramic crown using the mold of your teeth.

Depending on the type of implant you have, the permanent crown will be installed using dental cement or small screws. Dental cement creates a strong bond with no visible screw holes, while small screws allow easier removal of the crown if the surgeon needs to perform any work on the implant later. Check out and discuss the type of implant that will be used with your dentist so you can let him know if you prefer a more aesthetic choice or easier access to the implant in the future.

Dental implant surgery is a very safe process with a long history of research behind it. Consider dental implants if you are looking for the most permanent and natural-looking tooth replacement option.