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What Procedures Does an Implant Dentist Perform?
Millions of people in the United States have received dental implants from an implant dentist. This option is fast becoming the preferred replacement for lost teeth, ahead of traditional dental bridges and dentures. If you are considering a visit to the implant dentist, it might help to learn about the procedures they can perform so you can prepare accordingly.
Procedures completed by the implant dentist
The dental implant procedure involves replacing lost tooth roots with metal implants. These implants are like screws and imitate the root's function to support a dental restoration, like a dental crown, bridge, or denture. The major advantage of choosing an implant is that they look, function, and feel like natural teeth. The procedures completed by the implant dentist during implant placement depend on the patient's needs.
If the damaged or infected tooth is still present, the dentist will extract it before implant placement. If the patient can handle it, the process can be done on the day of implant placement. The dentist will typically administer a local anesthetic during the procedure to stop the patient from feeling any pain. This process does not take long, unless the tooth is fractured. The dentist will provide aftercare instructions so the tooth's socket can heal properly.
Bone grafting procedure
Due to the amount of pressure that the jaw handles during chewing, it has to be strong to protect the implant. If patients have adequate jawbone thickness and health, there may be no need for bone grafting. However, if there has been bone loss, the implant dentist can augment the bone for implants by performing a graft. The bone for the grafting comes from another part of the jawbone or external sources. There is a healing process before the implant can be added.
This process is simply the insertion of implants into the jawbone. The dentist will create an incision over the gums to access the jawbone. After placing the implants, the jawbone will integrate with the metal post until it becomes part of the oral cavity. The healing process can last between three to six months.
When the implant is stable, an abutment will be fitted over the implant's head. This piece holds the implant to the final dental restoration. This process is hardly painful, but local anesthesia may be used regardless. Afterward, the dentist will have the artificial tooth created. Patients are often able to choose between fixed or removable restorations. Regardless of the choice, the dentist will ensure that the result looks natural.
Important points to consider
Choosing to replace missing teeth with dental implants is a major decision. They often cost more than traditional options, but the success rate is higher and they are highly durable. When bone grafting needs to be done, the treatment timeline extends by a few months for healing. The final tooth will not be placed until the jaw heals completely, but the dentist may provide temporary options in the meantime.
If you have questions, you should visit the implant dentist for answers. Before proceeding with treatment, you must understand everything involved so you can prepare adequately.
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