The Dental Implant Procedure
Placing your dental implants correctly is key to their success. You want to trust your implants to someone who knows what they're doing and has the education and experience to do so. We, at Pickens Family Dentistry, pride ourselves in our preparation and our performance of your implant placement procedure. Dr. Pickens want to help you have the healthy smile you deserve.
When should I consider having implants placed?Patients who are interested in dental implants have lost as least one tooth due to injury or decay. A tooth implant can restore a single missing tooth with the placement of a dental crown. They can also restore several missing teeth, or even all of your teeth. Once the appropriate number of implant posts are placed, we can use them as retention for other dental prostheses including dental bridges and denture devices.
PreparationPreparing the site is an important step in the long-term success of your dental implant. In most situations, this will require a bone graft procedure. When a patient loses a tooth, there is an immediate response of bone resorption, or atrophy. We will want to ensure that the patient has sufficient bone available for the implant.
A bone graft procedure sounds extreme but is actually quite easy. Dr. Pickens opens the surgical site and places a tiny amount of bone fragment. This bone can come from one of four sources: the patient’s own bone; donated human bone; donated animal bone; or synthetic bone. We then close the site and allow time for healing and bone growth. Once sufficient bone is ready, we can then continue.
Implant PlacementYour dental implant procedure begins with the appropriate anesthetic for your needs. We want to ensure your comfort during surgery. Once you are ready, we then open the tissue at the surgical site. Using a specialized dental drill, we prepare the bone for implant placement. The implant is a titanium post that resembles a screw. The post is placed directly into the jawbone. With the post in place, we then suture the site closed.
Once the site is closed, there are two different routes we take depending on the individual patient. For some patients, we then send them home for a period of healing time. While they heal, a process known as osseointegration occurs. This is the process of bone and tissue fusing to the titanium post. This fusion is a natural response from the body that will make this post strong and firm. For other patients, depending on their situation, we may place their denture device or bridge immediately on the day of surgery. We will still want healing to occur, and the patient will be asked to refrain from eating a range of foods that may disrupt this healing process.
Once your single or multiple implants posts are ready, we can then customize your dental crown, bridge, or denture for you. The end result will be a tooth that looks, feels, and functions as close to your natural teeth that you can get.