Having dental implants placed and restored is an invasive process. There are many steps involved and the process can take up to a year to complete. However, replacing your teeth with an implant supported prosthesis is the only solution available that looks and works like real teeth. Dr. Raymond Ribitch is a talented restorative dentist that offers many types of teeth implants at his Mount Pleasant, MI dentist office.
The Dental Implant Process
The process time and cost are two main things that may intimidate patients. Three months to a year seems like a long time to wait to replace teeth. However, once completed, you will have new teeth that work like real teeth. This means you can smile, eat, laugh, and talk normally. Additionally, we offer temporary restorations so that you will never have to go without teeth. Below, we break down each step in the dental implant process.
Evaluation and Exam
Every patient interested in dental implants will need to undergo a thorough evaluation and examination. Not everyone will qualify for dental implants. There has to be enough bone density to support the implant posts and you must be in good health. Your dentist will collect your medical history and make sure you are free from any major health and oral health problems. Some patients may require certain treatments before the dentist can place the implants. This includes dental fillings or periodontal disease treatment.
Dental Implant Placement
The most crucial step in the process is the placement of the implant posts. This is a surgical procedure where a dentist will make a small incision in the gums to access the bone. Then they will drill a small hole in the bone and insert the implant post. It takes about an hour to place a single implant and several hours to place multiple dental implants. Your dentist will use general or local anesthetic for your comfort.
If needed, your dentist will also place a temporary dental restoration. This is for aesthetic purposes so you will not have to go without teeth. Most people tolerate the surgery well with little to moderate pain afterwards. You will be sore and swollen for a few days however you can treat this with ice and over the counter pain medicine.
Once the implant posts are in place, they will begin to combine with the surrounding bone. Dental implants are made of a lightweight metal that is also very strong. Titanium is also safe to use in the human body. Osseointegration takes several months to complete. Most people are ready for the next step in the process after about three to six months. At this point, the implant posts are sturdy enough to support your new teeth.
Before the dentist places the prosthesis, they will attach a small metal piece called an abutment to the implant. The gums are cut open again to access the implants then left to heal for an additional week or two. The abutment is essentially the connector piece between the dental prosthesis and the dental implant.
Attaching the Dental Prosthesis
Finally, it is time to place your new teeth. Dr. Ribitch will secure a custom made dental prosthesis to the implants at our Mt. Pleasant, MI dentist office. He will use a dental crown for a single missing tooth or a dental bridge or denture for multiple missing teeth.