Understanding the Dental Implant Process

Mar 07, 2023
Understanding the Dental Implant Process
When you lose a tooth as an adult, you can’t grow it back, but you can do the next best thing: Get a dental implant. What happens when you get dental implants? And why are implants the most effective tooth replacement option? Find out here.

A dental implant is a custom-designed, false tooth that looks and acts almost exactly like a natural tooth. It consists of a beautiful crown identical to the shape and color of your natural teeth. Plus — unlike all other tooth replacement systems — it has a “root” section that fuses with your jawbone and secures the implant.

The procedure is the same whether you consider one implant, several, or a whole arch. So are the results: the next best thing to your natural teeth.

If you want a dental implant, our expert dentist, Nisha Modi, DMD, and our entire team prepare you ahead of time so that you know what to expect. We perform all aspects of implant surgery in the comfort and safety of our Miracle Smile Dental office in Aubrey, Texas. 

Are you ready for teeth that look like you were born with them? Here’s what happens when you get dental implants.

1. Evaluate candidacy

Whether you want one implant to replace a single missing tooth or an entire mouthful, dental implants begin with a consultation and in-depth evaluation. Dental implants require surgery, so you must be in good general health.

Your oral health must also be excellent. If you have gingivitis, periodontitis, or decayed or broken teeth, we first treat those conditions. We examine your oral cavity visually and by X-ray. 

You are ready for the next step if you’re already in good general and oral health. If you have oral health issues that need addressing, we treat you and then re-examine you once you’re healthy.

We also determine whether or not you have sufficient density in your jawbone to hold a dental implant. We recommend a bone-grafting procedure if you don’t have strong enough bone.

2. Optional bone graft

If you lack robust or healthy bone, we may be able to place a bone graft that strengthens your jaw. You may have insufficient bone if you’re a long-term denture wearer. Dentures don’t preserve your bone mass, as implants do.

When you get a bone graft, we give you the anesthetic of your choice to keep you comfortable. Dr. Modi then cleans and disinfects the area and creates an incision in your gums.

She places the grafting material (natural or synthetic) over the existing bone to compensate for deficits. She then covers it with a membrane, repositions the gum, and stitches it closed.

You may be sore for a few days. Generally, bone grafts take anywhere from 3-9 months to heal. 

3. Place the implant

Once cleared for surgery, we again sedate you and numb, cleanse, and anesthetize the treatment area. Then Dr. Modi makes an incision in your gums and drills down into the bone, where the implant gets placed.

The implant itself is made of titanium and looks like a bolt. She inserts it deeply into the jawbone, so it fuses with your bone cells and holds your new tooth securely. 

She places a temporary false tooth over the implant to protect the space while your jaw heals and bonds with the implant. It usually takes several months to go through the healing process. 

4. Place the abutment

Once your jaw and implant have bonded, you return to the office. Dr. Modi opens your gums again to reveal the top of the implant. She then places a titanium cap on top of it, called an “abutment.”

She closes the gums around the abutment but doesn’t cover it. Your gums usually need another two weeks to heal after abutment placement. 

5. Take molds 

Once your gums have healed, Dr. Modi takes a mold of each gap and abutment. She then designs individual false crowns that attach to the abutment. The crowns match the shape and color of your natural teeth (i.e., the part of the tooth that shows above your gums). 

If you’re having several teeth replaced, she can custom design the shape and color for a dazzling and natural-looking smile. We then send the molds and specifications to a lab, which creates your new teeth.

Step 5: Place the crowns

The final step in your implant surgery is after your new crowns arrive. Dr. Modi removes the temporary dentures or crowns and cements your new crowns. 

Smile! You have brand-new, natural-looking, and functional teeth. You care for implants just as you would for natural teeth: Brush and floss twice daily, and see us at least twice a year for professional cleanings and exams.

Book your dental implant evaluation by calling our office at 469-765-3567 today. You may also use our convenient online scheduling tool.