The dental implant procedure is lengthy and requires several steps to complete. When you understand exactly what will happen, you will be prepared from your first visit with your dentist.
Preparation for the Dental Implant
To prepare your mouth for the dental implant, your dentist first needs to remove any remaining tooth. If your jawbone is too weak to hold the implant, you will also need a bone graft at this stage. This involves removing some bone from another part of your body or using an artificial material like bone and transplanting it into the jawbone.
In some cases, only minor bone grafting is necessary, in which case it takes place the same time as the surgery. Otherwise, you will need to wait a few months before the next stage in the procedure.
Dental Implant Surgery
The initial surgery requires cutting open the gum to expose the bone. Your dentist will drill a hole into your jawbone and insert a dental implant post, which will serve as a root for your crown. You may receive a temporary denture at this time to maintain appearances.
Inserting the Abutment
After a few months, you will return to the clinic for another minor surgery. Your dentist will reopen your gums to access the dental implant, remove the temporary denture, attach the abutment, and close the tissue around the abutment. You can opt to have this procedure at the time of the first surgery, but this will mean the abutment is above the gum line and is therefore visible.
Receiving a Crown
Finally, you will return to the clinic, just one or two weeks after your surgery for the abutment. At this point, your dentist will fit you with a permanent crown.