Written By Dr. Kyle Griffith
Dental implants, also known as tooth implants, are the best technology available to dental patients for the replacement of a single tooth or multiple missing teeth. Dental patients always have questions about the dental implant process. Many times, my patients will say, “Doc, on TV they say you can get these teeth in a day!” We will talk about “teeth-in-a-day” at the end.
The goal of this blog is to talk through, in general terms, the steps to replacing missing teeth with dental implants.
- Infection and Hopeless Teeth Need To Be Removed First: For implants to be successful, disease needs to be cleared from the body prior to placing the dental implant. This usually means the teeth that cannot be saved, or are infected, need to be removed.
- Bone Grafting: In preparation for a dental implant, at the time of tooth removal, it is frequently an option to graft bone in the extraction site. It is always optimal to have as much healthy bone present at the site of the future dental implant.
- Bone Healing: Healing after a tooth extraction and bone graft is very important. It is necessary for the site to heal and for the bone to mature so a successful dental implant can be placed in the future. There is a range of healing times but plan on healing for 3-6 months.
- Dental Implant Placement: Once the bone has healed and matured a dental implant can be placed. From a patient’s perspective the procedure of placing the dental implant usually entails less discomfort that the original extraction of the tooth. Most patients are surprised by how easy the tooth implant process was.
- Dental Implant Healing: Once again, this is a range. Patients should expect to let the implant heal for 3-6 months. Usually there is a little metal cylinder placed on the implant to help the gums heal around the neck of the dental implant. If the dental implant placement was difficult or required more bone grafting then usually site is sutured over and all you will see are the gums while the implant and bone are healing.
- Making the Dental Implant Crown/Bridge/Prosthesis: After healing there are several step to making the parts and pieces that will attach to the dental implant. In straight forward cases, two appointments are required. In very large, complex cases, upwards of six appointments may be required. At the end of these appointments you will have your new tooth implant.
I know, I can hear what your saying. What about all the commercials that say I can get new teeth in a day. What is that all about? Is that true? The answer is complex. What you see on TV is true, but it isn’t the whole story. Suffice it to say that the general, run-of-the-mill implant placement at this time follows the guidelines listed above. Learn more about teeth-in-a-day here.
At 58 Dental our patients love their dental implants. Their tooth implants help them eat the foods they want, look beautiful, and are designed to last a long time. If you would like to discover how dental implants can help you, please call our office today.
7090 East Hampden Avenue, Denver, Colorado