The first step in the dental implant process is the development of an individualised treatment plan. This plan is prepared by collaborative consultation with practice dentists, and through careful listening of your needs, followed by analysis of models of your teeth, x-rays, and CT scans where appropriate.
For most patients, the placement of dental implants involves two dental procedures. First, the titanium implant (replacement tooth root) is placed into the bone socket of the missing tooth. This procedure is carried out under sterile conditions under local anesthetic. Although it is entirely painless, some patients elect to be sedated during this phase for extra comfort.
During the procedure, we may also perform a bone graft, which is sometimes necessary to supplement the bone in the jaw so that the implant can be anchored firmly. This bone comes in granular form and is packed around the implant during its placement.
Immediately after this surgery, patients are given pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory drugs, for the following few days. Although dental implants have a very high success rate and infections after placement are rare, antibiotics are also prescribed at this stage to even further reduce the risk of infection.
For the next three to six months following surgery, the implant beneath the gum gradually bonds (integrates) with the jawbone.
The second stage begins after the implant has integrated with the bone. A healing cap is placed on top of the implant, after which impressions are taken and sent to a specialist implant laboratory. Finally, a connector post (known as the abutment) is attached to the implant and your custom-made porcelain tooth is fitted over the abutment. When completed, everything looks and feel just like a natural tooth.