At Woodland Hills Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, we offer dental implants to replace missing teeth. Dental implants are an alternative treatment for dentures and bridges that provide numerous benefits. The process for getting dental implants is more involved than other tooth restoration options, involving surgery and a recovery period. Here is an overview of the implant placement process.
Dental implants consist of three parts.
The actual process of getting dental implants involves a surgical procedure. Depending on how many implants you are having placed, your procedure could take anywhere from just 20 minutes to several hours. Surgery is done under a local anesthetic, which ensures that you will not feel any discomfort. Sedation is also available to help you remain relaxed and comfortable. Your sedation options are discussed during your initial consultation.
After sedation has been administered, small incisions are made in your gums, revealing the jawbone underneath. Using a specialized drill, we create holes in the bone and insert the implants. Once the implants are inserted, the gum tissue is sutured closed around the posts. A small section of each post is left exposed above the gum line. Once your surgical procedure is complete, temporary teeth are set in place, and you can go home to begin the recovery process.
The time that your dental implants are placed depends on your specific situation. Typically, they are placed several months following the extraction of compromised teeth. In many cases, implants can be placed immediately following extractions, unless there is an infection present.
If you have been living with missing teeth for a while, you will most likely also have lost some bone mass in your jaw. This bone loss is a direct result of tooth loss because the jaw has lost the stimulation once provided by the roots of the missing teeth. Dental implants rely on sufficient jawbone mass for support. If you have lost too much bone mass, you may need to undergo a bone graft first. This is another surgical procedure. It can take several months to recover. Once you have recovered, then the implant process can begin.
After the placement of dental implants, it can take several weeks to several months to heal. During this time, your jawbone gradually fuses to the posts, integrating them into your jaw. You will be provided with specific postsurgical care instructions to help ensure that you do not have any complications.
Once you have healed from surgery, the process of getting your final teeth is started. This process begins with placing the abutments. Once the abutments are set on the posts, impressions of your mouth are taken. These impressions are used to design and create your customized replacement teeth. When the teeth are ready, they are securely screwed into place.
If you have any questions about the dental implant placement process or are interested in finding out if this revolutionary treatment is right for you, call Woodland Hills Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery today at (818) 999-0900.