A Step by Step Guide to Dental Implants

For centuries, dental bridges and dentures were the treatment of choice for missing or failing teeth. Today, though, dental implants have become the gold standard. One dental implant can replace one tooth, while fixed implant bridges need just a few implants to anchor a full arch of stable, long-lasting, highly aesthetic replacement teeth. Whichever dental implant procedure you need, the process is exactly the same.

Examination and Treatment Planning

The first step is a thorough examination. We will take X-rays and scans to analyze your current dental health and determine whether dental implants are the best choice for you. We will then work with you to create a treatment plan that meets your needs, budget, and desires.     

Tooth Repair and Extraction

Dental implants must be placed in a mouth that is clean and healthy, so the next step is to fix any existing dental issues such as gum disease or decay. We will then extract the failing teeth that will be replaced with implants. This minor procedure is performed under local anesthesia.

Bone Grafting (if Needed)

Although it is not common, some people need bone grafting to build up the jawbone enough to support dental implants. If needed, we will perform this simple procedure and then wait several weeks for it to heal.

Implant Placement

Placing dental implants is a minor oral surgery. After thoroughly numbing your mouth, we will cut a small flap in your gum tissue, and then use a series of drills to open a small, precise hole in your jawbone. We will screw the implant into the hole and replace the gum tissue.

The dental implant will be topped with either a flat cover screw or a healing cap that is the same shape as the abutment that will secure the implant to the crown. Either way, we will give you a partial or full denture to wear during the healing process.

Abutment and Crown

Your dental implant will fuse with your jawbone over a period of several weeks. You will then come back to the office to have the abutment and crown and placed. This quick and simple procedure requires us to remove the cover screw or healing cap, replace it with an abutment, and then carefully attach the final restoration. If you had multiple implants placed in anticipation of an implant supported denture or fixed bridge, we will address all of the implants at this time.

All-on-Four

The All-on-Four has become a popular procedure where just a handful of immediate-load dental implants are used to secure a full fixed arch of replacement teeth. Rather than wearing a denture while you heal, you leave the office with a fixed arch of acrylic teeth. If desired, you can upgrade the teeth to dental porcelain at a later time.  This is only possible in very specific situations.

Dental implants are the ideal solution to replace missing or failing teeth. We will go through your options and help you decide which procedure is right for you.

If you are ready to get started with dental implants, contact Carmel Dental Associates at 845-225-2224 to schedule your appointment.