First, your Empress Walk Dental dentist will talk through your concerns with you and make professional recommendations based on your specific needs and desires. Upon determining that dental implants are the right course of action, your dentist will examine your mouth, using X-rays to determine where the implant(s) will be placed. The placement of your implant(s) will depend upon how your bones are shaped and where your nerves and sinuses are situated; your treatment will be designed according to your facial structure so the implant(s) can be placed in the best possible location. If for some reason your dentist needs additional information before designing a treatment plan, a CT (or computed tomography) scan may be necessary to give your dentist a 3D model of your mouth. After this, it will be time to place the implant(s).
2. Placement of the Implant(s)
Depending upon the patient, the dentist may decide to use a single-stage procedure or a double-stage procedure. Both procedures begin the same way: First, the dentist makes a small cut in the gum tissue so that the bone can be seen. Then, the dentist will carefully drill into the bone, creating the hole where the implant will go.
Our Empress Walk Dental dentists use bone grafting to add more bone to the location(s) in the mouth where a patient’s implant(s) will be placed.
There are actually several different options when it comes to bone grafts, including:
Regardless of the type of bone graft you have, the healing process will take a minimum of three months, and possibly longer depending upon the extent of the bone grafts. More bone grafts = longer recovery time. Only once the mouth has healed from the bone grafts can the implantation process begin.
Bone regeneration using barrier membranes (guided tissue regeneration)
Bone regeneration is different from bone grafting in that instead of taking bone from somewhere else and attempting to attach it to the areas that need more bone, the dentist actually uses a specialized scientific approach to encourage the bone cells to grow on their own to replace the lost bone. In the race to fill the new “hole” in the mouth, gum cells or connective tissues usually win out, and once the “holes” have been filled, there will not be a chance for bone to grow there. With bone regeneration technique, the dentist uses a barrier membrane to keep the other types of cells from taking over the space, ensuring that the bone cells will have a chance to fill in the gap. Some types of barrier membrane will break down over time and dissolve back into the body. Other types have to be taken out later on.
How Long Do Dental Implants Last?
At Empress Walk Dental, we stand behind our work and we want you to be able to enjoy your smile for a very long time. According to the official research, the vast majority of dental implants last for a minimum of 5 years. Our goal is for them to last much longer, which is why we will teach you the best habits to keep your implants in optimal shape for the long-term. Your implant(s) will last much longer if you follow a comprehensive oral hygiene routine, abstain from smoking, and continue to see us here at Empress Walk Dental for regular checkups. That way, we can professionally clean your teeth and make sure that your implants are in good shape (and if they are not, we can step in and solve the problem before it gets to the point where the implant would have to come out).