Implant Dentistry and Periodontics - Michael D. Edwards, DDS, MSD
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The Dental Implants Process

woman looking in mirrorDental implants are the most successful treatment for tooth loss in dentistry today; they are a fantastic, popular, long-term solution. But they aren’t right for every patient. If you’re considering dental implants in Indianapolis, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with the dental implant placement process before you decide that it is right for you. Knowing what to expect can help you to decide whether or not you want implants. Whatever you decide, our specialized team of experts at Implant Dentistry and Periodontics is here to answer questions and help you find the right care plan for your situation and needs.

Traditional Placement Procedure

The first step to getting dental implants is to meet with our professional team at Implant Dentistry and Periodontics. We’ll perform an initial exam, including X-rays and teeth impressions in order to see the status of your mouth. Then we will work to develop your personalized care plan. Getting dental implants doesn’t look exactly the same for everyone, but we will help you to know what you can expect, how long each procedure will take, and how long recovery should be.

Generally, if you have enough bone, you’ll get the implants during your first procedure. This is an oral surgery and is done under anesthesia. The implants are titanium posts which are attached to either the upper or lower jawbone. Our periodontist will make a small incision in your gum where the implant will be placed. In order to place the implant into the bone, a hole will be drilled in your jawbone. The implant is placed in the small hole, and the incision is stitched closed.  You’ll then need to wait 4-7 months while the bone and the implant post fuse together.

During your second procedure, and abutment will be attached to you implant. This procedure can happen after your bone has fused with the implant; we’ll know by X-ray when this is the case. The second procedure is less complex than the first procedure. Again, an incision will be made in your gums in order to expose the tops of the implant posts. An abutment is screwed to the titanium posts. An abutment can be made from many different materials; it serves as the important connector between post and prosthetic crown. Once the abutment is in place, the restoration, or crown can be cemented or otherwise attached to the abutment. Until it is time to place your customized crown, (usually four to six weeks after the second procedure), a temporary crown will be in place.

Bone Grafts

It’s important to know that dental implants can only be placed if your jawbone has enough mass and density to support the implant root, so getting implants as soon as possible after you’ve experienced tooth loss will increase the likelihood that you’ll be able to get dental implants. The longer you wait for treatment, the more invasive the procedure will likely be, and you may need a bone graft procedure before implants can be placed. Bone grafting is a common way to build up the bone in your jaw. Bone from another source is added to your jawbone in a surgical procedure before the implants are placed.

It’s important to remember that this is just a traditional timeline for dental implants. In many cases, steps can be combined in order to reduce the number of visits a patient needs. We’ll be happy to discuss exactly what the process might entail for you during your initial exam. If you need an implant dentist in Indianapolis, our premier team will work hard to help you feel comfortable during every step of the process. Give us a call today or visit our website to schedule an appointment today!

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