What Happens During A Dental Implant Procedure?

If you're missing one or more teeth due to extraction or natural causes, you'll need some way to replace them. Leaving a gap in your teeth can make it difficult to chew, and it may even contribute to bone erosion. Dental implants are a permanent solution. Unlike dentures, they don't need to be removed constantly. When you decide to get dental implants, you might not know what to expect. Here are four things that will happen over the course of your procedure:

1. Your jawbone will be examined.

Dental implants are placed through your gums into your jawbone. For a successful outcome, you need to have enough bone mass to hold the implant. During your first appointment, your dentist will take x-rays of your mouth so they can better examine your jawbone. Based on their findings, they'll decide if you're a good candidate for implants. If you don't have enough bone mass in your jaw, you may be recommended for bone graft surgery.

2. Your mouth will be numbed.

Dental implant surgery can be performed under local anesthesia, using the same drugs dentists use when they fill cavities. When you arrive for your implant procedure, your dentist will make sure you're comfortable and use a topical anesthetic to numb your gums. Once the topical anesthetic takes effect, they will use a syringe to inject a local anesthetic into your gums to numb your mouth. If you're uncomfortable having this surgery performed while you're awake, you can talk to your dentist to find out if general anesthesia is an option.

3. Your implant will be inserted.

Once your mouth is sufficiently numb, your dentist will insert the implant into your jaw. You will feel pressure during this part of the surgery, but you shouldn't feel any pain. Make sure to tell your dentist if you feel any discomfort so they can remedy the situation with additional anesthetic. After the implant is in place, your dentist will attach a temporary crown that will protect the implant as it heals.

4. Your artificial tooth will be attached.

Your dentist will send you home to wait for your dental implant to heal. Your bone will grow around the metal implant, holding it firmly in place. This process can take several weeks. When your mouth has fully healed, you'll return to your dentist for a final appointment. An artificial tooth designed to fit your mouth will be attached to your dental implant.