Dr. Benjamin Stevens is a talented dentist who offers full dental implant services. This means he completes every step of the process at his dentist office located in Greenwood, IN. When considering implants, we want our patients to be fully aware of the process, from start to completion.
Dental implants are highly successful thanks to modern dental technology. This intricate process will involve several office visits, at least one surgical procedure, and months of healing time. We will provide you with a temporary restoration if you need one, so you will never be without teeth during this time.
How long does the entire dental implant procedure take?
The implant process should take about six months if you are in good oral health and do not need a bone graft. However, that is predicting that everything works out perfectly. There are, in fact, many factors that will determine how long yours will take. It is not uncommon for people to be completing their implant journey a year later. To better understand, let’s review the dental implant process.
The Dental Implant Process
The very first step in the process is for Dr. Stevens to review your medical history and examine your mouth to see if you qualify for dental implants. We create a treatment plan based on your needs and personal goals.
Preparing you for the implant procedure is the most important step. It is imperative that you are in good overall and oral health before having the implants placed. Our goal is to ensure a healthy environment for the implants to properly heal and be successful.
If you have remaining teeth or teeth fragments, we’ll extract them to make room for the implants. We’ll do an examination of your gums to ensure they’re healthy enough to support the implants when they’re placed. If you have gum disease, we perform periodontal treatment to get it under control before we can move forward with the implant process.
Health bone density is the most crucial thing to ensure before placing dental implants. The implant posts spur jawbone regeneration, and the bone fuses with these posts. This process gives implants the stability and benefits that they’re known for. If the bone density isn’t sufficient, you’ll need to get a bone graft to support the dental implants.
Your dental implants will be placed in your jawbone during a simple surgical procedure at our Greenwood, IN dentist office. For your comfort, we place you under local anesthesia. It should only take a few hours for multiple implants and about an hour for a single implant.
You want to ensure you’re following the aftercare instructions given to you on the day of your procedure. This ensures that everything heals the way it should and that there are no issues. For a few days after the procedure, you’ll likely experience some bleeding, swelling, and soreness. If bleeding persists past a few days, call us and come in so we can take a look.
Depending on your conditions, your dentist may prescribe prescription antibiotics and/or pain medication. Be sure to take these medications exactly as they’re prescribed for the best results. You can also use over-the-counter pain medicine to help manage soreness and discomfort. For swelling, ice the area intermittently with a cold compress during the days after your procedure.
For your diet, stick to soft foods and avoid anything that’s too spicy. Try to avoid any chewing in the area where the implant was placed until it’s fully healed. You can slowly introduce more solid foods after around four days, but continue to avoid chewing in the implant area as much as possible. Don’t drink from a straw, either, as this can negatively impact the clotting process.
You need to take proper care of the mouth, but be sure not to clean it too harshly. Gently brush and floss around the area where the implant was placed, but avoid brushing right on the site. Don’t start rinses on the day of the procedure. Wait until the following day. Rinse with a warm saltwater solution multiple times a day to keep the area clean and help assist the healing process. After a few days, you might need to clean around the implant with a cotton swab and cleaning solution.
This portion of the process simply involves waiting for the implants to fuse with the surrounding bone completely. This process is known as osseointegration and will take anywhere from three to six months.
Placing the Abutment
When the dental implants are fully connected to the bone, Dr. Stevens will uncover the implants during a simple procedure and attach the abutments. An abutment is a small connector piece that attaches the implant to the dental restoration. We will allow your gums to heal for about two weeks following this procedure.
The last step involves placing your final dental restoration. We take several impressions to fabricate your new dental restoration. These are custom-made in a dental laboratory to blend in perfectly. During your last appointment at our Greenwood, IN dentist office, Dr. Stevens will attach your permanent restoration (dental crown, dental bridge, or denture) and ensure proper fit.
It’s crucial to take care of your dental implants so that they don’t fail and no problems come up. Ensure to brush at least twice a day, floss at least once a day, and visit the dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings. It’s up to you to make sure your oral health stays good and that the implants have an environment where they can thrive.