If you are in the greater Houston, TX area and are wondering about how dental implants are placed, this article is for you. Dental Implants have become the cornerstone of modern dentistry, replacing dental bridges as the standard of care to replace missing teeth. One of the major factors that is still holding dental implants back is cost. Fortunately, at Best Dental, we provide affordable dental implants at the low price of only $1,999. This includes the implant, abutment, and crown. You will be hard-pressed to find higher quality dental implant care at a better price. Now let’s focus on dental implant placement and restoration and what steps are involved:
Initial Treatment Plan and Medical History
The very first step in the dental implant procedure is to get a thorough medical history and doing a complete examination of your mouth and your x-rays. Your dentist or oral surgeon will go over the findings and will let you know what type of dental implant he or she recommends for the procedure.
Local Anesthetic to Numb the Area where the Dental Implant Will Be Placed
The second step is to use a local anesthetic (Lidocaine is the normal anesthetic used today) to numb the area where the dental implant will be placed. A series of injections are given in the area to make sure that you do not feel anything during the procedure. Although these anesthetics are great at removing the pain, you will feel pressure during your procedure. Unfortunately, anesthesia will not remove this sensation. Some of our patients feel that it’s easier if they were sleep during their dental procedure. IV Sedation is a wonderful option for this to help you sleep and relax during your dental implant procedure. Although the cost will increase with intravenous sedation, most patients feel that it was worth it after the completion of the case.
Gum Tissue Reflection
The next step in the dental implant procedure is the use of a dental blade to help reflect your gum tissue back. Although this part sounds a little cringy, it really is a basic step and patients have no sensation of this part at all. The layers of the gum tissue up to the periosteum are reflected back to expose the jawbone area where the dental implant will be placed.
Once the gum tissue is reflected, a series of implant drills are used to create a slot inside of your jawbone where the dental implant is to be placed. The drills get incrementally bigger and the final drill size will be determined by your dentist. Normally, the final drill size will equal the size of the dental implant that will be placed in the slot. During the drilling sequence your dentist will take x-rays for measurement and angulation purposes.
Dental Implant Placement
After the final drill size is completed in your jawbone, your dentist will irrigate the area with normal saline, and place your dental implant in that slot. Once the dental implant is placed, your dentist will place a small screw in the head of the dental implant. This screw is known as a “cover screw”, and its purpose is to prevent any soft tissue to regrow into the inside portion of your implant.
Once your dental implant is placed, your dentist will recommend that you wait a period of 3-4 months for implant integration. What does this exactly mean? A dental implant is composed of Titanium. This is the only metal that is known to help fuse with your bone tissue. Believe it or not, a chemical bond needs to form between the implant and your bone tissue, and this takes a few months to occur. This bond is what gives the implant the strength to handle the forces of chewing inside of your mouth.
After 3-4 months you will come back to see your dentist for your uncovery appointment. This appointment is critical is it is the session that will help form what your gum tissue will look around your implant crown. Your dentist will numb the area once again, and reflect your gum tissue back. He or she will then remove the “cover screw” that was placed on top of your implant, and replace it with a bigger screw called a “healing abutment.” This healing abutment will stick out of your gum tissue where it will allow your gums to heal around its metal collar.
Once your gum tissue heals around the healing abutment (this takes 2-3 weeks), you will come back for your final impression. Your dentist will remove the healing abutment, and place an “impression coping” to take an impression of your dental implant. Once a series of dental impressions are taken, these are sent off to a local lab that fabricates your implant crown. The healing cap is placed back on until the lab makes the crown and sends it back to your dentist.
Implant Crown Insertion Appointment
During this appointment, your dentist will seat your dental crown onto your implant. Some small adjustments may be undertaken to get your implant crown to fit properly, and a series of radiographs will also be taken. The crown is then torqued into position, and a final x-ray is taken. Once the implant crown is placed in, your dentist will place some dental composite to cover the screw hold in the crown, and your dental implant procedure is completed.
Is there a risk of nerve damage with dental implant placement?
In the lower jaw, there is a higher risk for nerve damage than the upper jaw. Our lower jaws contain nerves that can be damaged with implant placement if your dentist is not careful.
How long does it take to get my final implant crown?
It will take anywhere between 4-6 months to get your final dental implant crown placed.
How long do dental implants last?
Dental implants usually last anywhere between 10-15 years. The better you take care of them, the longer they will last you.
We hope this informed you about the dental implant procedure. If you find yourself needing a dental implant procedure in Houston, look no further than our expert team at Best Dental.