What to expect with dental implant treatment
Dental implant placement involves the following steps:
- Initial consultation: Dr. Christopher Pottorff will discuss the various dental implant options, thoroughly examine your mouth, including taking X-rays or 3D images and develop a plan for your implant surgery. 3D Imaging and Treatment Planning
3D Imaging and Treatment Planning
State-of-the-art, precise 3D digital imaging, and implant surgical planning software have made implant procedures faster and highly predictable. Dr. Pottorff uses these tools to analyze the anatomy of your jaw and determine the best site for implant placement before surgery. Proper implant placement shortens recovery time and saves both time and money.
- Dental implant placement: During your next scheduled appointment, Dr. Pottorff will place the implant in your jawbone where the tooth is missing. Although each patient’s experience is unique, many patients find their experience is less painful than expected and usually return to work the next day. Depending on the procedure, Dr. Pottorff will administer local anesthesia or IV sedation to keep you comfortable. Post-implant surgery discomfort is similar to any other dental surgery. You may experience swelling, bruising, minor bleeding, and/or pain. Still, most patients usually manage any discomfort with over-the-counter medications.
- Osseointegration: Your implant and jawbone will grow together as you heal, in a process called osseointegration (os-e-o-in-tuh-GRAY-shun). Osseointegration forms a stable, long-lasting foundation for your replacement teeth. During this healing phase, which can take up to a few months, you can go on with your regular life. To make sure your implants heal properly, you will be on a soft food diet for the first few weeks. In some cases, Dr. Pottorff may be able to place temporary teeth during this period, if you choose.
- Abutment placement: Once your dental implant bonds with your jawbone, a small connector – called an abutment – is placed on the implant just above the gum line. In some cases, Dr. Pottorff will place the abutment at the same time as the implant.
- Custom-make and attach new teeth: Once your gums heal, Dr. Pottorff will custom-make your artificial teeth by taking impressions of your mouth and remaining teeth. These teeth – which can be a single crown, implant-supported bridge, or dentures containing multiple replacement teeth – will attach to the abutment. Although they don’t decay, your implants will need the same routine care, checkups, and cleanings as your natural teeth.
- Periodic checkups: The entire process can take three to nine months, depending on the number and type of dental implants you receive. After your dental implant placement is complete, you will visit Dr. Pottorff periodically for follow-up checkups, just as you do your regular dentist.