All About Dental Implant Surgery: What to Expect from Start to Finish

Having one or more missing teeth can cause your bite to shift out of alignment, alter your face shape, and impact your self-confidence. Muscle and bone tissues can break down, leading to atrophy and resorption. Restoring missing teeth is always the best solution. Dental implant surgery is one of the most popular options for restoring missing teeth. Let’s look at this procedure and what it entails from start to finish.

Preparing for Dental Implant Surgery

The first step in dental implant surgery is evaluation. Your cosmetic dentist in Jacksonville will assess the condition of your teeth, gums, and jawbone to determine if they’re healthy enough to support an implant. If the jawbone is too soft or thin, a bone graft or alternative procedure may be recommended before a dental implant.

When preparing for the procedure, your dentist may perform a comprehensive dental exam, which may include taking dental X-rays, 3D images, and models of your teeth. During this evaluation, your dentist will review your medical history and ask about any conditions you have or medications you currently take. Finally, a tailored treatment plan will be created. This plan will consider the number of teeth you need to replace and the current condition of your jawbone and remaining natural teeth.

Placing the Dental Implant

How a dental implant is placed on the patient jawbone will depend on the type of oral implant you choose. The two main options include:

  • Endosteal Implant: An endosteal implant resembles a small screw. They are the most common type of implant and are surgically inserted into the jawbone to serve as an artificial tooth root. A single implant can be used to anchor one or multiple teeth.
  • Subperiosteal Implant: While less common, subperiosteal implants may be recommended when there isn’t enough healthy jawbone to support an endosteal implant. This type of implant is inserted under the gum but not into the jawbone.

During the procedure, a cut is made to open the gum and expose the underlying bone. Next, a hole is drilled into the bone, where the dental implant post will eventually be placed. After the metal post is placed in the jawbone, a process known as osseointegration begins, which involves several weeks or months of waiting as the implant adheres to the jawbone. In the meantime, a temporary denture can be placed for appearance.

Placing the Abutment

After the osseointegration process is complete, the abutment, which will support the crown, is placed. To place the abutment, the gum is once again opened. The abutment is then attached to the implant, and the gum is closed around, but not over, it.

Placing the Artificial Tooth

The last step of the dental implant process is placing the artificial tooth. Your dentist will make impressions of your mouth and teeth to create your crown. An artificial tooth can be fixed, removable, or combined. Fixed teeth are permanently cemented or screwed onto the abutment. Alternatively, a removable denture on a pink plastic gum may be mounted on a metal frame and attached to the abutment. Removable dentures can be removed for daily cleaning or repair.

Recovering After Dental Implant Surgery

After dental implant surgery, it’s common to experience some discomfort, such as minor bleeding, swelling, bruising, and pain at the implant site. You may be prescribed antibiotics to prevent infection or pain medications to remain comfortable after surgery. You’ll be instructed to eat soft foods as the surgical site heals.

Most dental implant surgeries are highly successful. A study on the survival rate of dental implants showed that implants have a 90 to 95 percent success rate over 10 years. Dental work is likely to last longer if the patient practices excellent oral hygiene, sees their dentist regularly, and avoids damaging habits that could damage their teeth.

Call Dr. Tiffany Shields in Jacksonville, Florida

Are you not sure if dental implants are right for you? At Smiles by Shields Dentistry, we’ve helped countless patients achieve healthy, radiant smiles. Should you require an implant, we have a network of trusted oral specialists to refer you to. Contact our office today to learn more.


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Smiles by Shields
3940 San Jose Park Dr.
Jacksonville, FL 32217