What Can I Expect During a Dental Implant Procedure?

For generations, dentures and dental bridges were the best way to replace missing teeth, and while these could be effective, there remained problems. Dentures only replaced the parts of your teeth above the gumline. Fixing denture plates in place wasn’t reliable, and the shape of your jawbones and gums changed over time without the stimulation provided by the roots of teeth, further compromising the positioning and fit.

The new standard of care for teeth replacement is the dental implant, a system that not only replaces the visible portion of your teeth, a titanium root restores the tooth-and-jaw interaction that’s crucial for maintaining bone tissue. Implant systems are versatile, too. You can replace a single tooth, adjacent teeth, or even use implants to anchor removable dentures.

A visit to Kerry M. Bloom, DDS answers your questions about how you can benefit from dental implants. Dr. Bloom is an implant specialist, as well as a caring and friendly practitioner. Dental implants are still evolving, and some patients don’t know what to expect from the implant process. Here’s what you need to know before your appointment with Dr. Bloom.

The consultation

Your initial appointment with Dr. Bloom includes an exam and discussion of your tooth replacement goals. When you agree on a plan of treatment, Dr. Bloom takes care of the treatment strategy, which may include X-rays or 3-D imaging of your mouth.

The implant

The foundation for your tooth replacement happens here. Dr. Bloom places one or more titanium “roots” into your jaw in the spaces missing teeth. This implant resembles a screw and works in a similar manner. Though the procedure sounds harsh, most patients experience less discomfort than they expect, and they return to their regular routine the following day. 

Healing from the implant takes a few days, but it takes a few months for your jawbone to grow around the implant, a process called osseointegration. This provides a strong bond between jaw and implant.

The abutment

The abutment is an interface between the implant and the crown restoration. It’s either attached at the time of implant or after osseointegration. The style of abutment you receive depends on your treatment plan. It may serve as the attachment point for a permanent crown or a snapping post for removable dentures.

The crown

Further dental impressions or 3-D images serve as the basis for crown manufacturing, and this process takes place after the abutment is in place and the implant integrates with the jawbone. Custom-made crowns match to your existing teeth in appearance, providing an invisible blend of real and artificial teeth.

The aftercare

Though permanently attached crowns won’t decay, the health of surrounding tissue means that you’ll care for your new implants the same way as you do your natural teeth. Snap-on denture plates have their own care instructions.

The entire implant process takes anywhere from three to nine months, and you’ll continue to schedule regular visits with Dr. Bloom to stay on track, just as you would with natural teeth. Contact Kerry M. Bloom, DDS at 713-581-8033 to arrange your consultation to find out how dental implants can fill the gaps in your smile.

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