Dental implants are an increasingly popular choice for replacing missing teeth, but many people are still a bit baffled as to what to expect when having an implant crown. This treatment does require a high degree of planning to ensure the finished implant is a success. The dental implant process has a few more steps that a typical crown has.
Planning Implant Placement
Your first step is to book a visit to Midtown Dentistry in Houston to see Dr. Jonathan Penchas. This initial visit will be to assess your mouth, and to talk about the procedure for having a dental implant. Dr. Penchas will want to know about your general health, and will need details of any medications you may be taking.
Anyone considering dental implants needs to be in good general health and shouldn’t have any medical conditions that affect the immune system, for example diabetes. Good overall health is far more important than age, as treatment can often be extremely successful for older people looking to replace full dentures. Dental x-rays and CT scans are an essential part of the planning process and show if there is sufficient bone to support the implant. CT scans are also used to pinpoint the location of important structures in your mouth that must be avoided during implant placement.
Your natural tooth will need to be extracted prior to implant surgery, and if necessary a bone graft can be placed at the same time to ensure there is sufficient bone to support the dental implant. Once the tooth is removed you’ll need to allow four months for the area to recover. This is to give the empty socket plenty of time to heal, and to allow the bone graft to integrate with your natural bone. The result should be strong, healthy bone that is able to support a dental implant. In some cases the implant can be placed at the same time of the extraction depending upon certain variables.
Dental Implant Placement
Once Dr. Penchas is satisfied the area has completely healed, you’ll be able to have surgery to place the implant. It only takes around half an hour to an hour to insert a single implant and it can be carried out under local anesthetic, although more nervous patients can opt for additional sedation. The dental implant needs to be left to heal for another four months. If your missing tooth is highly visible then please don’t worry as we will provide you with a temporary replacement and certainly won’t leave you toothless for this time! If there are a number of missing teeth that are being replaced we offer IV sedation as well as oral sedation options to ease your nerves.
The Final Step: Making and Placing the Implant Crown
Once the implant post has fully integrated with your jawbone it should be strong enough to support your implant crown. At this stage Dr. Penchas will attach the abutment to the implant post. This is screwed in position and protrudes slightly above your gum line as it will be used to support the implant crown. The next step is for an impression to be taken of your mouth which is sent to the dental laboratory so your crown can be fabricated. This will normally take a couple of weeks, after which time you can return to Midtown Dentistry for your beautiful implant crown to be fitted. You’ll be given instructions on how to look after your implant and your crown, as meticulous hygiene will keep your implant healthy and free from infection. With proper care, you should get many years of trouble-free use from your implant crown, and it should feel so natural that you’ll forget it’s not completely your own.