Instead of partials or dentures, many people today are opting for dental implant surgery. Dental implant surgery involves permanently implanting a prosthetic tooth in your mouth. This means that you can use your tooth just like you used your original one. In some cases the tooth itself is removable, while the anchor that holds it in is not. The entire process from start to finish can take months, so it's best to be prepared before you decide this is the route you want to take. Here you can learn what to expect before the dental implant surgery so that you can make an informed decision concerning how you want to proceed.
Have the Tooth Removed
If the tooth you are replacing is still in place, you will need to have it removed. Unlike a partial or dentures, your oral surgeon isn't likely to be able to install the implant immediately following the removal of the tooth. You may have an evaluation before the tooth is removed, but your dental professional is going to need to take a look at the bone structure after the tooth is out in order to make a firm decision about the viability of an implant.
Have an Evaluation
The bone structure isn't the only thing that has to be evaluated. Your immune system needs to be healthy, as it does before any surgery. Every surgery, even a minimally invasive one, requires that you have a strong immune system so that you are able to fight off any potential infections. On top of that, your jaw bone has to be dense enough to support the implant. You will undergo an evaluation to learn what your options are before a treatment plan is created. It's important to let your dental professional know about any health issues you currently have, including diabetes and any immune deficiencies.
Undergo a Bone Graft
In some cases, a bone graft may be required before the implant procedure can be done. The bone will be taken from some other part of your body, like your hip, and grafted onto your jaw bone. This graft will need time to heal before an implant can be done. People who experience gum disease and bone loss are more likely to require this procedure than those who have not experienced.
When you have had the tooth removed and undergone the evaluation and any procedures required before the implant, the actual process of installing the implant can begin. You can expect the entire process to take months to complete, but you can also expect to have a tooth or teeth that are just like your original ones when it's all over.
A company such as Prospect Periodontal & Implant Center can shed more light on the implant procedure for you.