What To Expect During Dental Implant Placement
Serving Patients in Vancouver WA
Initial Dental Implant Exam
Your first visit with our implant dentist Dr. Lewis will be a consultation to see if you are a good candidate for extractions and dental implants. Your dental implant consultation will involve the following:
- A 3D-scan of your jaws: Dr. Lewis will scan your mouth and perform a virtual extraction and implant surgery on his computer while you watch on a monitor. This helps him determine which areas of your mouth are best to have your implants placed.
- Photos of your teeth and jaws: Additional X-rays may be necessary if any of your natural teeth will stay.
- A full review of your medical/dental history: during this time, it is also important that you provide your Dr. Lewis with an accurate list of all the medications you are currently taking as you may need to stop some of them prior to surgery.
- Review the breakdown of dental implant cost
- Review and sign consent forms for your dental implant procedure
- Your dentist will hear any questions or concerns you may have
- You’ll schedule your dental implant surgery!
After you schedule your dental implant surgery, we’ll send you home with prescriptions for antibiotics, pain medication, and a sedative (Valium) if desired. If you take the sedative for the surgery it is illegal for you to drive so a ride will be required.
Dental Implant Surgery
Following the initial consultation, your next appointment at our dentist’s office is your dental implant surgery. Before your surgery, you’ll want to eat at least 1-2 hours beforehand to have some nourishment in your system. We are one of the most trusted dental offices, and our staff will provide you with great care during your entire dental implant procedure.
- We start by using a high strength topical jelly and place it in the areas we will administer the anesthesia. The topical jelly really helps limit the amount of discomfort you feel from the anesthetic.
- We do not start your procedure until we verify with you that you have achieved total and profound numbness. You will be able to feel some pressure and vibrations throughout the procedure but should not be in any discomfort. If you do experience any discomfort whatsoever you will be instructed to raise your hand and let us know right away.
- We will frequently check in with you during your surgery to make sure you are doing well.
- Additional anesthesia will be given as needed to keep you comfortable during your visit.
- After your extractions and implants are completed sutures may be placed. The sutures are resorbable and typically come out in 3-5 days on their own.
- Many times smoothing of the bone is required during the extraction and implant placement. The term used is “alveoloplasty” and is necessary to form an ideal site in the bone for the implant as well as round bulbous areas of bone to help with the fit of the denture.
- An X-ray will be taken to verify correct implant placement and position. If you have dentures, they will be adjusted to fit passively over the implants and will not engage the implants until after your 90 day follow up exam and x-rays.
Post Dental Implant Exam
This important exam is to determine how well the dental implant has integrated into your jawbone. In the months while you are healing, your jawbone and the dental implant are growing together. This is called osseointegration. Your dental implant dentist Dr. Lewis, will take the appropriate X-rays or scans to evaluate that the implants have fully healed and are ready to be attached to what is called an abutment. This small connector is placed on the dental implant right above your gumline. It’s what your implant crown will attach to.
Most implants are determined to be successful at this appointment. If this is the case, you will make a final appointment at our Vancouver WA office so your implant dentist can fit your implant crown to the implants where you can finally start taking advantage of your new and stable teeth.
Is Everyone a Candidate for Dental Implants?
Simply put, no. If you are determined not to be a good candidate for dental implants we may refer you to an oral surgeon. This is usually because there is not enough bone for dental implant placement and there are bone-grafting procedures that may make it possible to have dental implants placed.
How Soon After Tooth Extraction Can You Receive an Implant?
Most patients have their extractions done and their implants placed at the same time. There are some circumstances that require implants to be placed 3-6 months following the extractions for ideal implant placement. Dr. Lewis will thoroughly review his recommendations for your individual case — which can widely vary from one patient to another.
Contact our Vancouver WA office today If you would like to schedule your dental implant consultation with Dr. Lewis. At Lewis & Implant Dentistry, we believe you should Get the Dazzling Smile You Deserve and we accept most major insurance providers!
How Can I Make My Dental Implants Heal Faster?
In the first two days following your dental implant surgery, you’ll want to have a liquid-only diet, then on the third day, you’ll want to incorporate soft foods like pancakes, applesauce, and mashed potatoes. In addition to keeping track of your diet you’ll want to:
- Use ice to help reduce swelling
- Brush very carefully
- Use medication for pain management
After your dental implant surgery at Lewis Family & Implant Dentistry in Vancouver WA, we’ll send you home with forms about aftercare and inform you about eating habits that need to be changed as you heal.