Before the first operation begins, your dentist will take x-rays of your mouth and use dental records to create molds for the implant. A CT scan may also be used to check where your sinuses are in order to avoid them during surgery.
- The first operation will get the implant put in. This implant will look something like a screw and is made of titanium. A small incision is made in the gum, where the dentist will then drill a hole in the jawbone and place the screw inside. After stitching up the gum over the implant, you will then wait for the jawbone to heal. This healing process is very important as it allows the titanium to fuse with the jawbone and can take anywhere from three to six months.
- During the second operation, an incision is made to expose the top of the implant. A small, round metal case, called a healing collar, will be placed around the top of the implant to encourage the gums to heal properly. This is left on for about 10-14 days. After the gums have healed around this collar, it is removed and a healing abutment with a temporary crown are attached to the top of the implant. This temporary crown is left on for about four to six weeks. During this time, the permanent crown will be made.
- The final stage of placing the implant comes once the permanent crown is ready and the temporary crown is removed. The permanent crown will either be screwed to the abutment or cemented in. While the cement method will reduce the appearance of a screw hole, keeping the implant screwed in will make any future dental work done on that area a lot easier.
There may be a slight difference in feeling once the permanent implant is in place. This feeling should go away after about a week and there shouldn’t be any noticeable difference between the implant and your natural teeth. Keep the same care as you would for the rest of your mouth, with regular brushing and flossing. If any problems should arise, don’t hesitate to call your dentist.
With the natural look and feel of implants, you no longer have to worry about going without your smile. Call us today to see how you can improve your smile and oral hygiene with an implant!