A dental implant procedure is a whole process from the evaluation visits to the dentist, to the actual implantation surgery, recovery and any other necessary complementary procedures that follow and aftercare. The implantation surgery can be done either in a one stage surgery or a two-stage one. Both procedures are outpatient procedures and can be carried out under local or general anesthesia depending on the complexity of the surgery. The length and types of procedures carried out during this process will determine the dental implant cost.
Dental Implant Procedure Consultation
The first step in this process the consultations. The dental professional will evaluate your teeth and your general well being to determine whether you are a good candidate for the dental implant. X-rays and CT scans may be required to establish the jaw bone condition which will enable the dentist to draw up a suitable treatment plan. He will also be able to make the decision about the appropriate implant and the placement on the jaw of the implant.
The Dental Implant Procedure Itself
The next stage is the implantation surgery. By this time, the dental implant has been made and is ready to be implanted. First, the jaw is prepared for implantation. This is done by drilling a hole into the bone. This will require an incision to be made on the gum tissue to expose the bone beneath. The implant screw is then placed in the hole and the gum is sutured.
Recovery comes next. This healing stage may take from three to six months. This is the time osseointegration occurs. Healing time varies from patient to patient.
Second Dental Implant Procedure: Restoration
After this, another surgery is required where the dentist will load the implant with the bridge, the dentures or crown. This is called dental restoration. The dentist will make a hole above the dental implant that has become integrated with the jaw bone. A metal post called an abutment is inserted onto the implant and it is on which the crown, or dentures or bridge will be placed. However, a temporary restoration is placed at this point. The dentist will take an impression of the tooth and have it made in a lab. Later the permanent tooth replacement is fixed and cemented. There may be a need for complementary procedures such as bone grafting and sinus lifting. During the entire process, it is crucial to maintain proper dental hygiene. The dentist will advise the patient on the need for such procedures during the start of the dental implant procedure.
Dental Implant Dentist Specialties
A prosthodontist is another type of dentist who can carry out dental implantation surgery. His specialty lies in teeth restoration and replacement. This dental specialty requires further two to three years of training after the four years of dental training. He can place crowns, bridges, veneers, dentures and dental implants. A prosthodontist can do the dental implantation all by himself but other dental specialists can be involved in the treatment of the patient.
An oral and maxillofacial surgeon is another dental implant dentist. Besides the four years of dental school, an oral and maxillofacial surgeon also completes a four-year surgical residency. The oral surgeon reconstructs facial bones, removes teeth especially wisdom teeth and impacted teeth, remove tumors, does complicated bone grafts and handles dental implantations. The dental implant procedure requires surgery and this where the oral surgeon comes in. This type of dentist can administer local and general anesthesia. However, an oral and maxillofacial surgeon does not provide the tooth replacement so will require the help of a general dentist or a prosthodontist. A periodontist is a specialist most concerned with the treatment of gum diseases. He is also qualified to place dental implants.
A general dentist may refer difficult cases to either one of these specialists depending on the type of difficult.
A dental implantation procedure may involve all these specialists at some point but it is important to note that the higher the number of specialists involved, the higher the dental implants cost.