Dentures and dental bridges were long considered the treatments of choice to replace teeth that were missing or failing. Today, though, the gold standard has changed. Dental implants are strong and durable, and they can easily last a lifetime. They can also halt and even reverse the jawbone loss that occurs when a tooth is lost. A single dental implant can support a single replacement tooth, while a handful of implants can support a full arch of high-quality replacement teeth that never leave your mouth. Whichever restoration you choose, the process of placing dental implants remains the same.
Examination and Treatment Planning
As oral surgeons, we work closely with your dentist or prosthodontist to plan your full dental implant treatment. We take a close look at your bone structure, teeth, and soft tissues, combining our clinical knowledge with digital x-rays and cat scans. Together with the rest of your treatment team, we will develop a plan that meets your needs, goals, and budget.
Tooth Repair and Extraction
Dental implants can only be placed in a mouth that is clean and healthy. We will refer you to your dentist to treat any existing tooth decay or gum disease. We will then extract your failing teeth. If desired, we can coordinate with your prosthodontist or dentist to create a temporary denture is that placed at the time of extractions so that you are never without teeth.
Bone Grafting (if Needed)
Although it is relatively rare, some people do not have enough healthy jawbone to support dental implants. In this case, we will perform a simple bone graft and allow it to heal for several weeks before proceeding with your dental implants.
Placing dental implants is considered a minor oral surgery. First, we will thoroughly numb your mouth, and then we will cut a small flap in your gums. We will use a series of drills to open a very small, precise hole in your jawbone, and then screw the tiny, biocompatible dental implant into the hole. We will cover it with a healing cap or a cover screw and then close your gum tissue. We can place multiple implants during the same procedure, if needed. You will wear your temporary denture for a few weeks while the implant fuses with the jawbone.
Abutment and Final Restoration
When your dental implant has fused with the bone, you will visit your dentist or prosthodontist. He or she will remove the cover screw or healing cap and replace it with an attachment known as an abutment, and then carefully secure your final restoration.
Ready to Get Started?
If you’re ready to get started with a highly experienced and compassionate oral surgery team, contact Warren Oral Surgery today at 908-222-7922 to schedule your first appointment.