Explained below is detailed information on the dental implant procedure including the implant surgery and implant crown fitting procedures. For information on what an implant is go to dental implants.
Dental Implant Surgery
Your implantologist will firstly administer some anesthetic to make the area numb so you will not feel any pain. Once you are numb, an incision will be made in the gum where the implant will be placed. A series of drills will be used to make a hole for the implant. The titanium implant will now be screwed into the bone. Once the implant is securely in the jaw your implantologist will place a healing abutment and the gum will be sutured around it. A healing abutment is a small cover that goes over the implant. The healing abutment may be visible but it is very small and close to the gum.
Sometimes a cover screw is placed instead of a healing abutment which the gum covers completely during the healing phase. This is called two-stage implant surgery and is sometimes done where a bone graft has been performed or if it is in an aesthetic area of the mouth. This option requires a second surgical procedure to uncover the screw and place a healing abutment at a time determined by your implantologist. Following any surgical procedures, it is important to follow any post-operative instructions given by your dental professional, such as how to keep the surgical site clean and whether they recommend any mouthwashes to be used during the healing phase.
A follow-up appointment is usually made a week or so after having the implant surgery to check that it is healing up and to remove the sutures. Another appointment will be made around 3 months later to check that the implant is fully integrated into the bone. Your implantologist will check that the implant is secure and will now be able to proceed with placing the crown.
Fitting Of A Dental Implant Crown
Dental specialists such as oral and maxillofacial surgeons (oral surgeons) and periodontists (gum specialists) only do the surgical aspect of an implant procedure. You will be referred back to your dentist to have the crown made. This will require two visits with your dentist, one to have impressions, and a second one to have the crown fitted.
During the first visit, the dentist will remove the healing abutment and place an impression abutment on your implant. This will be tightened to the recommended torque and then an x-ray will be taken to ensure it is in the correct position. An impression will then be taken of your teeth which will be sent to a dental laboratory along with the impression abutment to have the crown made. The healing abutment will be placed back on your implant.
You will require another appointment a couple of weeks later to have the crown fitted on your implant. The healing abutment will once again be removed and an implant abutment will be placed. The crown, which is usually made of metal with porcelain on top, will be attached securely to the implant. This is the final stage of the implant procedure.