Dental Implant Process
Serving Patients in Vancouver WA
Dental implants are a great choice for replacing or restoring missing teeth. Because they’re made to look and feel like natural teeth, they can restore your smile completely–including the function of your teeth! If you’re curious about the dental implant procedure, contact Lewis Family & Implant Dentistry to schedule your dental implant consultation!
What is a dental implant?
To understand how dental implants work, it is important to understand what a dental implant consists of:
- Implant body: This is a titanium or ceramic post that is installed directly into the jawbone. It behaves as an anchor for the artificial tooth.
- Abutment: This part is attached to the top of the implant and holds the artificial tooth in place.
- Crown: This is the artificial tooth that goes on top of the abutment to complete your full tooth restoration.
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What is the dental implant procedure?
If you’re experiencing significant bone loss, you may have to undergo bone graft surgery before the dental implant can be placed. If your jaw bone is intact, the dental implant procedure has three main steps.
1. Initial Consultation
You’ll come into our office for an initial consultation and a thorough exam. We’ll determine your overall oral health and inspect the area of your mouth that will receive the implant. We will conduct a CT scan to thoroughly analyze your jaw bone, gums, and adjacent teeth. We’ll then go over all of your options with you, so you fully understand your choices and the procedure itself.
2. Dental Implant Surgery
Many patients are nervous about this part of the dental implant process, but this portion of the procedure is completed in less time than it takes to perform a tooth extraction! If you need a tooth extraction before the implant, we can typically perform both of these procedures in the same visit.
We begin the surgery by administering a local anesthetic. After making sure the area is completely numb, we’ll drill a hole in the jaw bone. The jaw bone will be drilled in order to install the implant body. Depending on your gum and jaw health, we may not even need to make an incision to place the implant. This is known as “flapless no incision” surgery. In these circumstances, you’ll experience minimal discomfort, little to no bleeding, and faster healing and recovery times.
Although this is dental surgery, the pain and recovery associated with this procedure is often minimal, and the end result will be a brand new tooth or teeth!
3. Final Restoration
After the implant surgery, there is a waiting period to allow for recovery and osseointegration. The bone must adhere completely to the implant (osseointegration) before the final restoration can be completed. Osseointegration typically takes 4-6 months, depending on bone density and the overall oral health of the patient. While you wait for your permanent restoration, we’ll give you a temporary dental prosthetic as a placeholder for the final crown or bridge.
Choose a Dentist with Experience in the Dental Implant Process
Here at Lewis Family & Implant Dentistry, we’re passionate about restoring smiles and oral health. Our clinical results, skills, and experience are well-known in the Vancouver WA area, and we encourage you to take a moment to reach out to us today for a consultation. Your new smile is waiting for you!Back to Dental Implants