As the leading provider of full mouth dental implants for Mercer County, NJ residents, Hamilton Dental is well-versed in all aspects of their multi-stage process. When you get dental implants, you may be under the care of more than one dental professional. An oral surgeon with implant training will place the implants in your jawbone, and a general or cosmetic dentist will make your crowns, bridges, or dentures, which will appear like natural teeth. The specialist who places your implants will help coordinate your treatment with your general dentist or prosthodontist. They will decide which implants to use, how many you need, and where they should go. Let’s look at the steps that dentists typically take when placing an implant.
Placing the Implants
Most implants use a two-step process, although some newer implants can be placed in one step. Below is a description of how the two-step process works.
To place the implants, the surgeon will make an incision in your gums to expose the bone. They drill a hole in the bone and place the implant in the hole. The surgeon may take an X-ray of the area to ensure the implant is where it should be. Next, the surgeon will stitch your gum closed over the implant.
If the implant is in the front of your mouth, your dentist can give you a temporary denture or bridge. Your dentist can discuss options with you before the surgery. After the specialist places your implants and removes your stitches weeks later, you’ll have to wait for the bone to bond with the implant. This process usually takes 3 to 4 months in the lower jaw and 5 to 6 months in the upper jaw. During this period, the head of the implant typically remains hidden under your gum.
Your surgeon will make a small cut in the gum, exposing the implant. They’ll remove a protective screw from the implant and replace it with a metal healing cap or collar. It looks like a small metal cylinder that sits above your gums in the area where your tooth would typically be, maintaining the space so that the gum heals correctly around the implant.
You’ll probably go to the dentist or prosthodontist two or three weeks after the second surgery to start having your crown, bridge, or denture made.
After the implant is in place and is secured to the bone, it is the general dentist’s role to place an overlaying crown or denture on it to replace the missing tooth or teeth. These crowns can be made of several different materials including porcelain, porcelain fused to metal, and zirconia. The general dentist can make an assessment as to which material is best to restore function and aesthetics to the area in question.