The Dental Implants Procedure Timeline
Dental implant treatment can be the most effective method of replacing missing teeth, offering a long-term solution. However, treatment does involve a series of structured steps and it will take several months to fully restore your missing teeth. Our principal dentist Dr. Agarwal is a skilled oral surgeon and prosthodontist. He is able to complete all the treatment required here at Winterset Dental Care. This means you will never need to visit anywhere other than our comfortable dental offices in Chicago or Orland Park, IL and you will receive your dental care from a team you know and trust.
To help you understand the treatment a little more clearly, we’ve provided a Dental Implants Procedure Timeline outlining the five major stages of implant treatment.
I. Your Initial Consultation
The treatment process begins with an initial consultation with Dr. Agarwal. During this appointment, he will evaluate your suitability for treatment and will discuss your general and dental health with you. This can affect the treatment provided and the possible outcome. You will discover which treatments could help you the most, as well as any additional services that you may, might require such as bone grafting or sinus lifts. An important part of this consultation is to discover the cost of your dental implant treatment. We generally find that patients have many questions about dental implant treatment so please feel free to ask Dr. Agarwal or any member of our friendly dental team.
II. Diagnostic Tests and an In-Depth Assessment
If you decide to proceed, you will need to have some advanced diagnostic tests in order for treatment to be accurately planned. These tests include digital x-rays and a cone beam CT scan. Your CT scan is particularly important, providing Dr. Agarwal with highly detailed 3-D images of your jawbone which will allow him to assess the amount of available bone for implants, and to plan the exact placement of each dental implant. We use Computer-guided surgery during your implant placement. Then Dr. Agarwal will make a surgical stent or surgical guide for use during surgery. This is a highly specialized template that ensures your implant placement is accurate and that surgery is smooth and comfortable.
If you do not have sufficient bone for dental implants, you may need to have a bone graft or sinus lift. We generally carry out the procedure prior to implant placement, but if you require a minimal amount of bone then it may be possible to place it at the same time as the dental implant. If you do require a bone graft or sinus lift, it’s certainly nothing to be concerned about as these are straightforward procedures, but your bone graft will need time to heal and to integrate with your existing bone. Generally, a bone graft will take at least six months to fully heal and to become strong enough for implant placement.
III. Placing Your Dental Implants
We know some people are nervous about the idea of implant surgery. That’s why Dr. Agarwal will ensure you have plenty of anesthetics so that the process is completely pain-free. Our dental team is highly experienced and will help you feel calm and comfortable. If you feel particularly worried about treatment then we can discuss the use of sedation dentistry to remove any anxieties and to help you fully relax during treatment.
Options for additional sedation include nitrous oxide and oral sedation. We surgically place your dental implants into your jawbone through small incisions into your gums. The procedure to place a single dental implant only takes around an hour, while multiple dental implants will take a little longer. Once we complete the surgery, we can provide any temporary restorations you require. We then use temporary teeth during the healing period and until your new implant teeth are ready to be fitted.
IV. The Healing Period
After the surgery is complete, Dr. Agarwal will give you detailed instructions on how to look after the surgery site, especially during the initial healing period. We will probably need to see you a week or so after surgery just to monitor your progress, but of course, we are always here to help you if you encounter any problems or are concerned in any way. The comfort feeling surprises most patients after the anesthetic has worn off.
Once your implants have been inserted then they need time to bond with the surrounding bone during a process called Osseointegration. We often treat implant posts with bioactive coatings to help encourage the growth of new bone cells. As bone cells grow on and around the post, it will become fused into the jawbone and cannot move. Osseointegration takes between three and six months to complete, after which time you can return to our dental office make and fit your new teeth.
V. Making and Fitting
Your New Teeth
Once healing is complete, Dr. Agarwal will attach the abutment to your dental implant. We use the abutment to protrude above the gum line and support your replacement crown, bridge or denture. Last, we take a detailed dental impression, and use it to fabricate your new implant restoration. It can be fitted on your next visit, completing treatment.
This is just a very brief overview of treatment, and you’ll discover much more during your initial consultation with Dr. Agarwal. To schedule your appointment, please contact Winterset Dental Care today.