I need to have a tooth replaced, but it seems like there's a lot involved with having a dental implant put in. What's the procedure to create and install a dental implant? How long does it take?
Dental Implants Procedure
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How a dental implant is placed
Placement of a dental implant itself is a relatively conservative and painless procedure. In comparison to a tooth extraction, it is significantly less invasive and traumatic in nature. Most of my patients go back to work or school the next day and take only mild pain medications or sometimes none at all. Depending on its location and complexity, implant placement can take as little as 15 minutes to an hour. The need for grafting or other tissue grafting can increase the overall procedure time.
Local anesthesia is often adequate although many of my patients select IV sedation for optimal comfort. Nitrous oxide sedation is also an option to make the experence more comfortable.
The procedure involves a small incision, following by placement of a surgical guide to help the surgeon align the implant perfectly. A series of bone drills in increasing diameter are used to gently prepare the site. The implant itself is placed and either covered with a cover screw or a healing abutment (an extension). A simple suture may be necessary. In some situations, a temporary crown may be placed on the same day (immediate restoration). Once the implant is healed in a few months, the final crown or prosthesis is placed.
Dental Implant Placement
The procedure for placing a dental implant is fairly simple and painless. The following steps are involved:
1. Local anaesthesia is given to the patient to numb the site where an implant is to be placed.
2. An incision to raise a flap (gums) to view the underlying bone is made/or we do a flapless implant placement
3. Space is created in the bone where the implant is to be placed using specific drills
4. Implant is placed and can be either loaded immediately or left to be loaded at a later stage (3-4 months)
The total time involved in placing a single implant is about 15 - 30 mins, from start to end.
Dental Implant Procedure Is a Relatively Painless and Straight Forward Procedure
The dental implant procedure is usually a striaght forward painless procedure. There is less invasiveness thean even extracting a tooth. It is a very precise procedure using highly specialized instruments that make it that way. Of course experience and training come into play as well. As long as you are treated by a qualified surgeon with experience, the process is smooth and easy. If you look for the "cheap" way out and have some fly by night doctor with a one weened course in dental implant placement you experience probably will not be so pleasant. Seek out the the best qualified board certified surgeon in your area that you feel comfortable with. Ask your dentist who he recommends and ask all the questions you like. This should make the process very easy for you
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Implant Placement is Pain Free and Routine!
Just like anything else in life people will have positive and negative preconceived notions based on their experiences and conversations with others. The reality though concerning placement of Dental Implants is that their placement is Pain Free and Routine! In the hands of the experienced Surgeon the procedure can take between 20 minutes to an hour. In some situations it may be possible for patients to receive a Temporary Crown (Immediate Loading) in the same day! Many times patients can easily return to work the next day without any problems. After the Dental Implant is placed we usually wait 3 to 6 months for the Implant to firmly integrate in the Bone. After this time the Restorative Dentist will take impressions so a suitable Post (Implant Abutment) can be chosen to support the final Implant Crown. Whether the Restorative Dentist chooses to have the final Crown cemented or Screw Retained to the Post plan on 6 to 7 months for the entire procedure to be completed. Since the Implant allows for Tooth Replacement without drilling adjacent or extra Teeth the extra time spent for this is worth the wait!
Dental Implants are relatively quick and painless
The procedure to place a dental implant is rather quick and painless. The office visit usually lasts under an hour. Patients normally go to work the next day without much discomfort. Depending on where the missing tooth is located and how much bone exists we can even sometimes place a temporary crown on the implant the same day.
Most Implant patients agree-Implants are worth the wait!
Having an Implant done involves a team. Good treatment planning by the team leader,( the dentist), and a periodontist, or oral surgeon who will place the Implant, will ensure the best out come.
While it takes time to heal whether you have a tooth extracted or are filling a space, Implants can be the best option for replacing teeth. There will be healing time as well as the actual procedures and Implants can take from 3 months to a year but are worth the wait.
Implant placement is a straight-forward procedure
When prepared in advance, implant placement is a procedure that can be done in under an hour. The preparation includes a Ct-scan that will show the doctor the exact width, height and angle of placement before you even sit in the chair. This takes away a lot of guesswork and gives the doctor an advantage during the procedure.
For implant patients, the procedure is easy
Its a minor procedure done with local anesthetic and minimal pain, especially if you are only doing one. It will usually take two appointments for the iimplant and two appointments for the crown that fits on top of it.
A proper diagnosis needs to be made before dental implants
A full treatment plan should be produced by the surgeon (periodontist) and restorative dentist. If the volume of the space in the missing tooth's space is adequate, an implant could be placed without other procedures.
The actual implant surgery is uneventful and not painful (under local anesthesia). If bone grafting is required, the procedure may be lengthier and will delay the placement of the implant by 2-6 months (depending on the magnitude of the graft). Once the implant is in place a period of 3-4 months is required prior to placing a crown on top of it.
Implants are a better experience than imagined
The reality is, most implant experiences are very minor. Space where the tooth is missing is created (like a post hole when building a fence), and an implant body is placed. Since nerves are in teeth but not bone, there is minimal discomfort.
It takes 3-6 months for the implant to fuse to the bone, and then an abutment is attached to the implant. This is what the crown is cemented to.
Start to finish, plan on around 6 months. While a bridge is much quicker, an implant will likely last much longer.
These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.